Tooth Decay Causes Baldness!

Alopecia areata

  Woman suffering from Alopecia areata
It seems that bad teeth also mean bad hair. Dental infection outbreaks have been found to induce alopecia areata (localized baldness), one of the most mysterious types of hair loss. Alopecia areata usually causes bald patches on the scalp, sometimes also on the body, and affects both males and females of all ages, in a proportion of 1:1000 people. Now the team led by José Antonio Gil Montoya and Antonio Cutando Soriano, of the Department of Stomatology of the University of Granada, sends you to a teeth check if you experience localized hair loss.

"Alopecia areata is a dermatitis which presents the following signs: The typical pattern is for one or more round bald patches to appear on the scalp, in the beard, or in the eyebrows, or to undergo a loss of eyelashes. Alopecia areata is thought to be an auto-immune disease", the researchers also mentioned.

Hair grows back in most cases several months later, as the hair root is not destroyed, but 25 % of the subjects experience one or more recurrences. Even when hair re-generates, the new hair is weak, mark shaped and falls easily. Still, alopecia areata can have a severe turn: in some cases, it expands causing further hair loss on the scalp and body. As said before, the origin of alopecia areta has been a mystery, and this is the first research ever to establish a causal factor for it, connecting it to dental disease.

What's clear is that in alopecia areta hair-follicle tissue gets inflamed without scaring, being mistakenly attacked by the immune system. Known factors causing baldness are: genetics, non-specific and specific immune and auto-immune reactions, and emotional stress.

"We have found that bald patches caused by tooth infection are not always in the same place. They normally appear on a line projected from the dental infection and can thus can be located on the face at the level of the maxillary teeth, above a line through the lip-angle to the scalp, beard, or even to the eyebrow. Nevertheless, they can also be located far from infection outbreak.", the authors added.

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By    28 Nov 2007, 10:00 GMT