Brain Tumors From Dental X-Rays: Should I be Worried?


Researchers have discovered an alarming link — regular x-rays at the dentist’s office could double a patient’s risk for developing a brain tumor.

In a study published Tuesday in the journal†Cancer, scientists and doctors asked 1,433 patients with†ismeningioma, the most common form of brain tumor, about their dental records. After comparing them with patients without the tumor, they found that patients with the tumor were more likely to have reported yearly regular x-rays.

So, should you be concerned? Let’s break down some of the key facts:

  • The study itself was a “case control study,” meaning that researchers relied more on interviews with pre-selected patients about their medical histories than a randomized 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 decline 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 tumor, affecting only about 5,000 Americans every year.
  • It is usually not a malignant tumor, and more people with the tumor live healthy, normal lives than don’t.

This is not to say you shouldn’t be concerned, to be clear, about developing brain tumors from dental x-rays. Rather, it’s important to recognize that this study only proves the suggestion of a link between the two. Indeed, the study’s lead author, neurological surgeon Dr. Elizabeth Claus, told NBC, “Our take home message is donít panic. Donít stop going to the dentist…” She recommends that patients talk with their dentists about using x-rays as infrequently as possible.

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Staicu E.
Staicu E.2 years ago

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Staicu E.
Staicu E.2 years ago

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Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jude Hand
Judith Hand5 years ago

Ah! One more benefit of being poor (can't take the regular xrays I grew up taking regularly). On the serious side, good to know the responses to this claim. It just seems that everything in life has it's pluses and minuses and we choose as best we can. Thanks to such as care2 to provide findings and varied opinions to consider.

Annemarie W.
Annemarie L5 years ago

Thank you!

Estelita atti5 years ago


Mary B.
Mary B5 years ago

Dental exrays are a tool the dentist uses to help them see the extent of your damage, so they can tell you that there's not too much they can do about the damage, or recommend procedures that are way too expensive unless you have insurence. You, of course, are expected to pay for them to use this tool.
I have a wonderful dentist, but he is endoctrinated by his profession just as they all are. I simply refuse all exrays.

Jane R.
Jane R5 years ago

This was not a study done properly. Also it is contradictory. "Common" form of tumor? "Very rare" tumor? Which is it???

Amber Beasley
Amber Beasley5 years ago

I don't trust xrays at all. or dentist office's period. do you know how much mercury is floating around in a dental office? watch the documentary "A Beautiful Truth".

leslie c.
leslie c5 years ago

Between dental care & having a radiologist
father who x-rayed us for everything growing
up, I'm probably screwed.