Dental X-Rays Up Brain Tumor Risk

Study focused on 1960s, when more radiation used in X-rays than today
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2012 12:01 AM CDT
Updated Apr 10, 2012 3:10 AM CDT
Dental X-Rays Linked to Brain Tumor Risk
Dental X-rays have been linked to a type of brain tumor called meningioma, according to a new study by the American Cancer Society.   (Shutterstock)

Dental X-rays have been linked to meningioma, the most common type of brain tumor, according to a new study by the American Cancer Society. The biggest correlation was found with bitewing X-rays, in which a patient bites on the film while an image is taken; according to the study, people with meningioma were more than twice as likely to have had at least one bitewing X-ray, reports the Washington Post.

Researchers cautioned that the study examined people who had received X-rays in the 1960s, when the procedure used much more radiation than today. Another dental X-ray technique that increased the chances of meningiomas was the panorex exam, which takes a complete panoramic image of all the teeth. People who had a panorex X-ray before 10 years old were 4.9 times more likely to develop meningioma. Meningioma tumors rarely become malignant, but can cause problems as they grow because they can interfere with brain function. (More meningioma stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.