Frequent Dental X-Rays May Cause Brain Tumors
According to a latest study which was published online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society revealed that people who receive frequent dental x-rays may have an increased risk of developing brain tumors. While these x-rays are necessary to diagnose and to plan dental treatments, frequent use may bring more harm than good.
Dental x-rays are the most common artificial source of ionizing radiation for individuals who live in the US. This type of radiation is considered the primary environmental risk factor that can lead to the development of meningioma, the most frequently diagnosed primary tumor in the US.
Elizabeth Claus, MD, PhD, of the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and her colleagues examined the link between the frequency and the exposure to dental x-rays and the increase in the risk of developing meningioma. 1,433 patients who were diagnosed with the disease were included in the study; these were individuals between the ages of 20 to 79 and were residents of Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, the San Francisco Bay Area, and eight counties in Houston, Texas, between May 1, 2006 and April 28, 2011. There were also 1,350 individuals who had similar symptoms b but were not diagnosed with meningioma.
The results of the study showed that people who have been exposed to bitewing exam x-rays on a yearly basis or more frequently were 1.4 to 1.9 times as likely to develop meningioma as controls. There was also an increase in the development of meningioma in people who had panorex exams (x-rays taken outside the mouth showing all the teeth) which was 4.9 times greater as controls.
As a result, the need for assessment of the patient’s risks before he undergoes dental x-rays must be done.
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