Some dental X-rays 'could pose major health problems'

10 April 2012

A form of dental X-ray could be subjecting people to an increased risk of developing a common primary brain tumour.

This is the main finding of a new study carried out by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine, Duke University, UCSF and Baylor College of Medicine.

According to the research, past frequent dental X-rays exposed patients to ionizing radiation – the most consistent environmental risk factor in the development of meningioma.

Elizabeth Claus, a neurosurgeon at BWH and Yale University School of Medicine, pointed out: "This research suggests that although dental X-rays are an important tool in maintaining good oral health, efforts to moderate exposure to this form of imaging may be of benefit to some patients."

She was keen to note though that "dental X-rays performed today use a much lower dose of radiation than in the past", though the research's findings should be monitored by dental professionals.

Recently, researchers at Bristol University and the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin suggested that people who do not take care of their teeth could be putting themselves at an increased risk of contracting heart problems.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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