Brain tumour risk linked to dental x-rays

The US case control study took in more than 1400 people with a mean age of 57 years who were diagnosed with the benign tumour type from 2006–11 and 1350 controls.

People with meningioma were more likely to have had bite­wing x-ray at some stage of their life, compared to controls without meningioma, and risk was increased in individuals reporting more frequent x-rays.

Individuals who had panorama x-rays as a child aged younger than 10 years had nearly five times the risk of later developing meningioma, the researchers found.

And those receiving them annually, or more frequently, had around a three-fold increased risk.

The authors noted doses of ionising radiation (IR) involved in dental x-ray had reduced over the decades, though the findings were a cause for concern. 

“Dental x-rays remain the most common artificial source of exposure to IR for individuals living in the US,” they said.