X-ray dentist increases brain tumor risk

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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 for which around 3,000 subjects were examined. Radiation exposure is therefore particularly dangerous for children under the age of ten. The researchers recommend that X-ray examinations at the dentist be kept to a minimum in the future.

Triple risk of benign brain tumors One or more x-rays at the dentist leads to a three times higher risk of developing a so-called meningioma, a benign brain tumor. Children who are under the age of ten are likely to be five times more likely due to frequent X-rays. This was recently discovered by American scientists led by Elizabeth Claus, a neurological surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and the Yale School of Public Health. You published your results in the specialist magazine "Cancer".

According to this, dental X-rays are clearly linked to an increased likelihood of meningioma. This is particularly evident when the X-ray examinations are carried out at a young age. X-ray at the dentist is one of the most common sources of radiation exposure for people in the United States and other industrialized countries, the researchers write. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest study to date that examined the relationship between dental X-rays and the risk of meningioma."

Based on the results of the study, the researchers recommend that X-ray examinations at the dentist be kept to an absolute minimum. "Although these images can be an important diagnostic tool for a few, more caution benefits most patients," the scientists explained. It has been known for some time that radioactive radiation or X-rays can cause meningiomas. However, it was not yet clear that current X-ray examinations at the dentist can contribute to the disease to this extent.

Patient should weigh up with dentist Need for x-ray Meningiomas are triggered by degeneration of meninges. Benign tumors affect women more often than men. They are the most common tumor in the skull.

“We don't want people to think that every X-ray treatment is like a loaded weapon. They are important for dental health. Patients should have a conversation with their dentist about the need for X-rays in order to keep their teeth healthy with the least possible use of X-rays, ”says the study leader Dr. Elisabeth Claus opposite “nydailynews.com”. "Keep going to the dentist."

Dr. Michael Schulder, vice chair of the neurosurgery department at North Shore Hospital, believes there is no need to panic. "The chance of these tumors developing in patients who were X-rayed annually was still low," he told the Internet portal. "Still, dentists and their patients should consider doing x-rays less often than annually, as long as there is no need for symptoms to appear."

Panorex X-rays pose a particularly high risk for brain tumorsr
As part of the study, the researchers examined 1433 meningioma patients and 1350 healthy subjects as controls. The patients ranged in age from 20 to 79 years and were diagnosed between April 2006 and April 2011. The subjects had to indicate how often three different types of X-ray examinations were carried out at their dentist. The examinations included so-called mouth films, for which the patient bites a piece of film, lateral X-ray images of the jaw and so-called Panorex images, in which the X-ray device wanders around the head and creates a complete panorama of the dentition.

The scientists found that meningiomas were 1.4 to 1.9 times more likely to develop meningiomas than in those who had little or no X-rays. With the Panorex exposures, which are associated with a higher radiation exposure, the risk is even three to five times higher. The researchers report that the side shots are similar but not statistically significant. (ag)

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