Dental X-Rays Can Cause Brain Tumor
We all used to believe that dental x-rays are not linked to any serious risks to our health, both dental and overall. The amount of radiation we receive during the procedure was considered quite small and harmless to our body. However, recently a group of scientists found out that regular dental x-rays are actually exposing people to the amounts of iodizing radiation that should be enough to increase the chances for several types of health risks. The study published earlier this month in Cancer, the Journal of the American Cancer Society, have shown that those who have frequent dental x-rays are in the group of increased risks for developing brain tumor and even have fatal damaging changes in the DNA.
The scientists say that doing dental x-rays as often as once per year is connected with quite increased risks of developing meningioma, one of the most common type of non-cancerous brain tumor. It can be formed in the very membrane around the brain, as well as in the lower area, closer to spinal cord. Despite the fact that this type of disorder is considered among the less aggressive kinds of brain tumors since the tumor cells grow and reproduce very slowly, still it is linked to a series of very serious consequences, including severe mental disabilities and even lethal health conditions. More common effects of maningiloma include chronic headaches, loss of motor control, impaired vision and loss of speech, and so on.
A group of scientists of the Yale University School of Medicine, led by Prof. Elizabeth Claus, initiated a research aimed to analyze the connections between brain tumor development and possible causes of meningioma. The data on about 1430 American people diagnosed with this type of brain tumor and aged between 20 and 79 was thoroughly studied. It turned out that such factor as dental x-rays played a very important role as a possible cause of brain tumor. The detailed analysis has shown that those who had dental x-ray procedures once a year had from 1.4 to 1.9 times higher chances to develop meningiloma compared to the data collected on the members of other group of 1350 people with similar dental and overall health history, but had not been diagnosed with the mentioned type of brain tumor.
Experts confirmed the importance of the findings of American scientists. According to the most common expert opinion, it is true that dental x-rays are not linked to exposure to serious amounts of radiation, however, it is necessary to keep in mind the findings of the study and re-examine the frequency of dental x-rays for all dental patients around the world. “The study presents an ideal opportunity in public health to increase awareness regarding the optimal use of dental x-rays, which unlike many risk factors is modifiable,” Elizabeth Claus commented on the findings of her colleagues. “This should come as no great surprise given the connection between radiation and meningioma development that has been established in various other contexts,” says Michael Schulder, an expert at Cushing Neuroscience Institute.