Dental X-rays tied to brain tumour

More Than 1 Session In A Year May Up Risk Of Developing Meningioma: Study

   People who have received more than one dental x-ray a year are twice as likely to develop a common type of brain tumour, claims a new study, suggesting that the procedure should be undertaken as less as possible.

    A team led by researchers from the Yale University School of Medicine in the US found that people who reported having more than one dental x-ray a year were 1.4 times to 1.9 times more likely than those who did not to have diagnosed with meningioma, a common but potentially debilitating type of non-cancerous brain tumour.

    Individuals who reported receiving these exams when they were younger than 10 years old had a 4.9 times increased risk of developing meningioma. “The study highlights the need for increasing awareness regarding the optimal use of dental X-rays, which unlike many risk factors, is modifiable,” said lead author Elizabeth Claus, a professor at Yale and a neurosurgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

    However, she said people should not overreact to their findings. “Our take home message is don’t panic. Don’t stop going to the dentist.”

    According to the researchers, dental x-rays are the most common synthetic source of exposure to ionising radiation for individuals — the primary environmental risk factor for developing meningioma. These tumours grow in the lining inside the skull.

    Most are slow growing but they can cause problems if they start to press on the brain, and they can be lethal.
    The study found that over a lifetime, individuals who developed meningioma were more than twice as likely as those in the control group to report having received bitewing exams — which use X-ray film held in between the teeth — yearly or more frequently.

    They also found a link between meningioma risk and the panorex dental exam (which uses an X-ray outside the mouth to develop a single image of all of the teeth).