By Katie Waldeck
In a study published Tuesday (10) in the journalÂ Cancer, scientists and doctors asked 1,433 patients withÂ ismeningioma, the most common form of brain tumour, about their dental records. After comparing them with patients without the tumor, they found that patients with the tumour were more likely to have reported yearly regular x-rays.
So, should you be concerned? Letâ€™s break down some of the key facts:
The study itself was a â€ścase control study,â€ť meaning that researchers relied more on interviews with pre-selected patients about their medical histories than a randomised population sample. These types of studies are often not as reliable.
The patients had to remember what sorts of treatments they received in the past; this is not always the most reliable way of ascertaining medical history.
The amount of radiation in dental x-rays has declined significantly in recent decades.
In 2006, the American Dental Association published guidelines that advised dentists to perform clinical observations before using x-ray technology.
Ismeningioma is a very rare tumour, affecting only about 5,000 Americans every year.
It is usually not a malignant tumour, and more people with the tumour live healthy, normal lives than donâ€™t.
This is not to say you shouldnâ€™t be concerned, to be clear, about developing brain tumours from dental x-rays. Rather, itâ€™s important to recognise that this study only proves the suggestion of a link between the two. Indeed, the studyâ€™s lead author, neurological surgeon Dr. Elizabeth Claus, told NBC, â€śOur take home message is donâ€™t panic. Donâ€™t stop going to the dentistâ€¦â€ť She recommends that patients talk with their dentists about using x-rays as infrequently as possible.
Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and womenâ€™s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/dental-x-rays-should-i-be-worried.html#ixzz1rlY4e78B