Dentist X-rays increase brain tumor risk
Increased tumor risk due to repeated x-rays at the dentist
Anyone who is X-rayed frequently at the dentist, has an increased risk of benign brain tumors. This was the result of a new US study in which around 3000 subjects were examined. For children under the age of ten, radiation exposure is therefore particularly dangerous. The researchers recommend that X-ray examinations at the dentist be kept to a minimum in the future.
Threefold increased risk of benign brain tumors
One or more x-rays at the dentist leads to a threefold increased risk of contracting a so-called meningioma, a benign brain tumor. For children under the age of ten, the probability is five times higher with frequent X-rays. This was discovered by US scientists around Elizabeth Claus, a neurosurgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and the Yale School of Public Health. Their results were published in the journal „Cancer“.
Accordingly, dental X-rays are clearly linked to an increased probability of a meningioma. This is particularly evident if the X-ray examinations were carried out at a young age. Dentist X-rays are among the most common sources of radiation exposure to people in the US and other developed countries, the researchers write. „To our knowledge, this is the most comprehensive study to date that has examined the association between dental radiographs and the risk of meningioma.“
The researchers recommend based on the study results, x-ray examinations to the dentist to an absolute minimum „Although these shots may be an important tool of diagnosis in a few, more restraint benefits most patients“, the scientists explained. It has been known for some time that radioactive radiation or X-rays could cause meningiomas. However, it was not yet clear that current X-ray examinations at the dentist can contribute to this extent to the disease.
Patient should balance with dentist need of X-ray
Meningiomas are triggered by the degeneration of brain cells. Women are more often affected by benign tumors than men. They are the most common type of tumorous disease in the skull.
„We do not want people to think that every X-ray treatment is like a loaded weapon. They are important for dental health. Patients should talk with their dentist about the need for X-rays to keep their teeth healthy with as little X-rays as possible“, says the study leader Dr. Opposite Elisabeth Claus „nydailynews.com“. „Continue to go to the dentist.“
Also Dr. Michael Schulder, Deputy Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at North Shore Hospital, believes that there is no cause for panic. „The chance of developing these tumors in patients who were x-rayed annually was still low“, he told the internet portal. „Nevertheless, dentists and their patients should consider performing x-rays less frequently than annually unless there is a need for symptoms. "
Panorex X-rays pose a high risk for brain tumorsr
In the study, the researchers studied 1433 patients with a meningioma and 1350 healthy subjects as controls. The patients were between the ages of 20 and 79 years and received the diagnosis between April 2006 and April 2011. The subjects had to indicate how often three different forms of X-ray examinations were performed at the dentist. The examinations included so-called oral films, for which the patient bites on a piece of film, lateral X-ray images of the jaw and so-called Panorex images, in which the X-ray machine wanders once around the head and creates a complete panorama of the dentition.
The researchers found that patients who had an oral film at least once a year had 1.4 to 1.9 times more meningioma than rarely or none at all. In the Panorex images, which are associated with a higher radiation exposure, the risk is even three to five times higher. However, it does not look statistically significant with the lateral images, the researchers report. (Ag)
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Image: Liza lychee