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Tooth Infection Linked to Hair Loss

It may seem bizarre that a tooth infection could cause hair loss but according to research, if you’re like the one in every thousand who suffers from seemingly random bald patches on your scalp or even your beard, eyebrows and eyelashes, you may need to consult your dentist.

In most circumstances hair loss is genetic, in fact an estimated 80 percent of cases are hereditary. However, sudden patchy hair loss with no apparent cause may be due to alopecia areata – an enigmatic autoimmune condition. Alopecia areata can be triggered by a number of factors and new research reveals a tooth infection may be one of them.

ToothacheTooth infection and alopecia areata

The study conducted by the professors at the University of Grenada uncovered a close relationship between tooth infection outbreaks and the presence of alopecia areata. Doctor Elena Dimitrova of the Belgravia Centre says it is possible that alopecia could be connected to dental infection.

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease and there are a number of factors that could cause the immune system to weaken. If the tooth infection were extreme it could have an effect on hair loss,” Dr Dimitrova said.

It is understood that alopecia areata occurs when white blood cells mistakenly attack the hair follicles, weakening them to the point where hair growth can no longer occur. When a tooth becomes infected, white blood cells work overtime to attack and destroy the infection. These cells can sometimes migrate to nearby cells, such as those found in the hair follicles.

The association of alopecia areata and tooth infection is often detected close to the affected area. Hair loss may be seen in the beard, eyebrow and neck area, on the crown or lower portions of the scalp. In about 50 per cent of alopecia cases patients will experience spontaneous hair regrowth without any treatment within a year, but the likelihood of total regrowth diminishes as the severity of the condition increases. A study reported in the European Journal of Dermatology also estimates that seven to 10 percent of patients may experience more extensive and chronic forms of the disease.

Treating alopecia areata

In light of this recent discovery, many dentists are now being trained to look for sudden patchy hair loss in patients experiencing tooth infections. The good news about infection-induced alopecia is that, because a cause is linked, it can be treated and reversed. If the symptoms are caught in early stages of development, both the infection and hair loss can be easily treated.

Whilst science has not yet demonstrated a cure for alopecia, there are some options available to help treat the symptoms (that is, sudden patchy hair loss). A course of steroid injections into the scalp can help in cases where the bald patches are quite small. The treatment involves several injections about 1cm apart (however the number of injections is often limited by pain) and is repeated every four to six weeks.

However, Belgravia patients have found alopecia areata treatment based around regular, non-invasive applications of high strength minoxidil – a topical drug available from our clinics’ in-house pharmacies – to be as effective, if not more so than these injections.

This approach also provides a much more comfortable alternative, with clients frequently seeing significant regrowth results within three to six months of starting their bespoke treatment course, instilling a renewed sense of confidence.


Circ - The Belgravia Centre Treatment for Hair LossThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.


14 Comments

2nd May, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Krystalyn

You have shed a ray of sunshine into the forum. Thnaks!

24th December, 2012 at 11:05 pm

kathy

Hair loss all over n pain inside of my head feel like som,ething is Jumping or crawling in my hair

1st March, 2013 at 2:56 am

Jason

That's crazy that a problem with your teeth can lead to hair loss. Who would have thought the two would be connected? Thanks for the info.

22nd October, 2015 at 3:54 pm

Kaizer

I have a toothache every night...after the dentist put paste on it...and now I'm experiencing hairfull..what should I do?

27th October, 2015 at 9:55 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Kaizer, One of our hair loss specialists has answered your query in full, here. We hope this is helpful to you.

29th October, 2015 at 2:04 am

KM Willis

I am SUPER STRESSED!! My eyebrows have been falling out for at least a year now and I had no idea why. I am in need of some dental work. Hopefully, after it is taken care of, the hair loss will stop. This was super helpful. Thanks so much!

29th October, 2015 at 1:07 pm

Sarah

Hi there, You're very welcome! We're glad you found the post helpful. This information may also be useful to you: 'What Can I Do For Hair Loss Following Dental Work?' Best of luck getting your teeth sorted out!

21st April, 2016 at 4:06 pm

regina heffler

Wow, 2 years ago I lost all my hair on my head and my eyebrows! I had a horrible painful skin infection along with the Alopecia too. I always wondered if there was a connection with my teeth. My hair has grown back but is still a little patchy up until recently when I had an infected tooth pulled. Almost immediately there was a loss of pressure from around my neck, jaw, ears and head. I also noticed like clock work my eyebrows filling in, my skin starting to get back it's natural glow and my hair is softer and i feel like it's growing faster. I dont think my Alopecia was all because of my tooth i think it was one of the unhealthy elements in my life contributing to my Alopecia. I'm starting to see how removing toxins like my toxic tooth and stopping gluten and cutting out white sugar, drinking lemon water, taking viatmins, is all helping my body to heal thus making my hair grow again

17th January, 2017 at 9:31 am

DJ Holli

Hi, I have had two lower wisdom teeth removed. This was in April 2016, well in August 2016 I have noticed patches of hair missing from my beard. Do you think this is connected and how long will it be for the hair to grow back?

17th January, 2017 at 11:15 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi DJ, it is hard to say for sure but, as it sounds like you are experiencing alopecia barbae - alopecia areata of the beard - it seems unlikely the two are linked. Alopecia barbae is an autoimmune condition that tends to present quickly following shock or trauma. Hair loss that follows around three months later affects the scalp and is known as telogen effluvium - this causes thinning rather than defined bald patches. We cannot treat facial hair loss so recommend you speak to your GP if you are concerned although generally this hair will regrow in around 3-6 months. It may come back white or yellowish at first but this usually rectifies itself within a few growth cycles.

9th April, 2017 at 10:12 am

JJ

Hello, I hope my story would help someone out there. Two years ago, I noticed my 8 years old daughter hair started to fall. Upon checking the back of her head, I saw two spots (size of a quarter). I started to look around and tried to understand what went wrong as she always has ALOT of hair. I found an article similar like this and started to look for infection in my daughter's mouth. I remembered I just took her to the dentist to have her tooth pulled about a month ago. I began to look around in her mouth and felt something hard on the surface near where her old tooth was pulled. I immediately called her dentist the next morning. The dentist agreed with me that there was a fragment of her tooth left from previous extraction. He had it removed in the same day. Magically, hair at the bald areas started to grow back within a few days. I took photos of the progress and now her hair is back to normal. I am very thankful for articles like this that helped cured my daughter's baldness.

20th April, 2017 at 11:32 pm

Sk

This is very helpful. Thanks JJ. My husband's eyebrows have almost disappeared and his beard is thinning too. He has a small piece of tooth in his mouth which he was due to have to have removed but didn't go ahead with it. I will tell him about this. I know he won't believe it though.

14th May, 2017 at 12:15 am

Irena

Hello! I lost all my hair (2015). I removed an infected theeth in 2016. It started to grow white fuzz at the same week. I have more white fuzz and just 3 little brown patches one year later. Do you think that could be alopecia of dental orgin?

15th May, 2017 at 9:24 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Irena, it is certainly possible that the underlying issue with your teeth caused hair loss, however we cannot confirm for certain without examining you and taking more medical details.

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