Dental X-rays can do more than save your teeth; they could even save your life!
A 67-year-old woman in Rochester, N.Y., was in danger of a stroke caused by calcified deposits in her neck arteries. Dental X-rays picked up the problem.
“She wasn’t aware she could have died at any moment,” Dov Almog, of the University of Rochester, told Reuters Health. He and his colleges described the case in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.
Blockages of the carotid arteries that carry blood to the brain are responsible for about half of the estimated 730,000 stroked occurring in the United States each year.
They say that the panoramic radiology dentists use shouldn’t replace the ultrasound tests usually used to discover calcified arteries in the neck. Almog and his associates have started workshops to teach dentists what to look for in X-rays, under the sponsorship of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
-Excerpted from “Health Discoveries,” Dental X-rays detect clogged arteries, Washington Post, January 2001