Frequent bitewing examinations at the dentist were linked to a twofold risk for intracranial meningioma in a cohort of US patients, according to recent results.
The researchers conducted a population-based case-control study of 1,433 patients to examine links between dental X-rays and intracranial meningioma risk
Eligible participants diagnosed with intracranial meningioma were aged 20 to 79 years and residents of Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, the San Francisco Bay Area and eight counties in Houston between May 1, 2006, and April 28, 2011. There were 1,350 controls who were matched for age, sex and geography.
An association between diagnosis of intracranial meningioma and self-reported bitewing, full-mouth and panorex dental X-rays served as the primary outcome measure.
Compared with controls, case patients had an OR of 2.0 (95% CI, 1.4-2.9) for having ever had a bitewing examination.
The risk carried regardless of the age at which the bitewing examinations were taken. Those who reported receiving a bitewing examination yearly or more frequently when aged younger than 10 years were at an increased risk (OR=1.4; 95% CI, 1.0-1.8), as were those who received yearly or more frequent bitewing examinations when aged 10 to 19 years (OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.2-2.0), aged 20 to 49 years (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.4-2.6) and aged at least 50 years (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1-2.0).
Among those who received panorex films at a young age, on a yearly basis or with greater frequency, an increased risk for meningioma was observed. Receiving panorex films at aged younger than 10 years carried a 4.9-fold increased risk for meningioma (95% CI, 1.8-13.2).
The researchers did not observe a link for tumor location above or below the tentorium.
“Exposure to some dental X-rays performed in the past, when radiation exposure was greater than in the current era, appears to be associated with an increased risk of intracranial meningioma,” they wrote. “As with all sources of artificial ionizing radiation, considered use of this modifiable risk factor may be of benefit to patients.”