For years, people have been cautious about being exposed to too many X-rays for fear of miscellaneous health problems, but now a study seems to prove that some serious risks are associated with them.
According to a recent study in the medical journal Cancer, people who get frequent dental X-rays are journal much more likely to develop a brain tumor called meningioma. The link to dental X-rays specifically is likely the fact that meningiomas are the most common type of tumor that appears in the head.
The study analyzed 1,433 patients participants. Their average age was 57. Study author Dr. Elizabeth Brooks Claus noted that older patients may have more radiation exposure from older X-ray technology.
Patients who had a specific type of dental X-ray, called a bitewig exam, were 1.4 to 1.9 times more likely to have a meningioma, though the results did depend on what age patients were when they got the exams.
“My impression is that people get more dental X-rays more frequently than the American Dental Association says,” Claus said, according to CNN.
Some experts have pointed out that the study might have a margin of error— it relied upon a patient’s memory of how many X-rays he or she received, rather than documented proof. The American Dental Association was quick to shoot down the findings.
“Studies have shown that the ability to recall information is often imperfect,” the ADA said in a statement. “Therefore, the results of studies that use this design can be unreliable …”
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