I am posting this article because not many people know about it. I have told quite a few, but I got the feeling that they did not trust me. It is official now, so please pass it on to others so they can benefit from this information. I only wish I had known earlier…
Question: Do dental X-rays increase the risk for thyroid cancer?
Dr. Brownstein’s Answer:
A recently published study showed that dental X-rays do not come without a risk of thyroid cancer. The population-based, case-controlled study, published in 2010 in Acta Oncologica (issue 49, pages 446-53), looked at the relationship between dental X-rays and the development of thyroid cancer.
Scientists compared 313 patients with thyroid cancer to a similar number of matched individuals who did not have thyroid cancer. The researchers found that there was slightly more than twice the risk of thyroid cancer in individuals exposed to dental X-rays, with a dose response pattern. This means that those exposed to repeated dental X-rays had a higher risk of developing thyroid cancer.
Are dental X-rays useful? The answer is “yes.” Dental X-rays can pick up tooth problems early enough for effective preventive measures. But, as this study showed, those X-rays don’t come without risk. What can you do to avoid getting thyroid cancer? I suggest having your body shielded, including your thyroid gland, when getting dental X-rays. This will at least minimize the radiation damage to the thyroid gland.