As I mow on some jelly beans, I am relishing the fact that I am slowly feeling my teeth rot. It turns out the alternative to my sugar-coated rot-teeth are brain tumors.
One of the most uncomfortable aspects of your dental visit has just been linked to brain tumors. Research published in this week’s issue of Cancer reveals that patients with meningioma – the most commonly diagnosed (but usually benign) brain-growth in the U.S. – were more than twice as likely as people without the tumor to have had a bitewing X-ray performed at some point in their lives.
It’s worth pointing out right away that this study’s findings are no excuse to skip out on regular visits to your dentist – or even to avoid having dental x-rays performed. Much more important, explain the researchers, is that you be mindful of your personal x-ray history, keep tabs on how frequently you have dental x-rays performed, and understand the circumstances under which your dentist has them ordered:
“These findings should not prevent anyone from going to the dentist,” explained lead researcher and neurosurgeon Elizabeth B. Claus, an MD/PhD at Yale University School of Medicine, to WebMD. “But it appears that a large percentage of patients receive annual X-rays instead of every two to three years, which is the recommendation for healthy adults.”
There is no gray ground, folks. If you get dental x-rays, you’re getting brain tumors.