Does dental x-ray cause oral keratosis?


  • Ryna Dwi Yanuaryska
  • Rellyca Sola Gracea



Papanicolaou test, keratosis, buccal mucosa, cone-beam computed tomography, panoramic radiography


Introduction and Aim: Ionizing radiation in dental imaging technology may cause cytotoxicity by means of changing the buccal mucosa cells and gingiva maturation pattern. Alteration of maturation pattern was often accompanied by increasing anucleated cells number that indicates keratosis. This study aimed to evaluate whether superficial keratosis also occurred after exposure to dental X-ray radiation.


Methods: The study samples consisted of 40 participants and were divided into two groups: exposed (patients who came in for taking analog/digital panoramic radiography or cone beam CT) and controlled (no radiography examinations). Each group contained ten individuals. Exfoliative cytology smears have been taken from the gingival and buccal mucosa before (or on day 0 for the control group) and 10 days post-exposure. The Papanicolaou approach was used to stain the cells. The anucleated cells in each glass slide have been then counted.


Results: No significant differences (p > 0.05) were observed in anucleated cell numbers between days 0 and 10 in both the controlled and exposed groups. The anucleated cell numbers also confirmed no significant difference between the gingiva and buccal mucosa.


Conclusion: Analog/digital panoramic radiography and CBCT exposure do not cause increases in anucleated cell numbers, so keratosis may not occur in patients exposed to dental X-ray radiation.

Author Biographies

Ryna Dwi Yanuaryska

Department of Dentomaxillofacial Radiology, Faculty of Dentistry, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia

Rellyca Sola Gracea

Department of Dentomaxillofacial Radiology, Faculty of Dentistry, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia


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How to Cite

Yanuaryska RD, Gracea RS. Does dental x-ray cause oral keratosis?. Biomedicine [Internet]. 2022 May 1 [cited 2022 Nov. 27];42(2):292-6. Available from:



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