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Hair Loss Linked to Tooth Infections

By: Jody Ehrhardt - Updated: 10 Oct 2020 | comments*Discuss
Hair Loss Hair Thinning Tooth Infections

If you are one on the millions of individuals suffering from hair loss, you may be too focused on your hair-thinning problem to even think about the other aspects of your health. However, numerous scientific studies have shown a correlation between general health and hair loss.

Hair Loss and Tooth Infection

Alopecia, a hair loss disease that affects both men and women, is characterised by the development of bald patches on the scalp. Although the exact cause of this disease is yet unknown, researchers think that problems with the body's immune system, like infection, can lead to its development. When an infection occurs in the body the production of white blood cells is increased in order to help fight the infection. Medical scientists believe that alopecia occurs when the white blood cells mistakenly attack the hair follicles, weakening them to the point where hair growth can no longer occur.

Following the link between white blood cells, infection, and alopecia, scientists are now studying the effects of tooth infection, and the increase in white blood cells, to sudden hair loss. When a tooth becomes infected white blood cell counts increase in the infected area. While most of these cells continue to attack and destroy the infection, some are thought to migrate to nearby cells, such as those found in hair follicles. When this migration happens cell damage occurs in the area and hair growth is halted.

Alopecia associated with tooth infection is often detected close to the area of infection. For example, if an upper molar is infected then sudden hair loss might be noticeable along the temple hairline on the same side as the infected tooth. This is not always the case, however. Hair loss caused by tooth infections can also be seen in the Beard, upper lip, eyebrow, or neck areas, and is also attributed to hair loss development on the crown or lower portions of the scalp.

Catching Symptoms Early

The good news about infection-induced alopecia is that it can usually be treated and reversed. Many dentists are now being trained to look for patchy, sudden hair loss in patients experiencing tooth infections. And, if the symptoms are caught in early development, both the infection and hair loss can be easily treated. In many cases, once the infection has been cured or the infected tooth has been removed, the hair follicles can begin to heal. It is important to remember, however, that healing takes time, and complete hair regrowth may not be seen for at least six months.

See Your Dentist

The best thing to do if you notice sudden, patchy hair loss, even if you are not experiencing any tooth pain or problems, is to make an appointment with a dentist. If you address the infection early the chances of eliminating the hair loss permanently are better. However, if you wait, the white blood cells may cause too much damage to the affected hair follicles and the hair loss could be permanent. Find out more about Permanent Hair Loss in our article on this site.

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I had a root canal and a crown on upper left and a crown on upper right. Shortly afterwards ( about 3 weeks) my hair began to bald on both sides. Now a year later my hair is almost in a mohawk because it has spread so bad.I went back to the dentist he said and he's 29 years he has never heard of hair loss being linked to dental work . I am so frustrated I don't know where to go next.. I have been going to a dermatologist for a year getting injections but nothing has helped.
Falconette - 10-Oct-20 @ 4:35 AM
Hi, I was 18-19 year old and my hair stated to fall out, I went to a dentist and she open up one of my teet on the upper right did a root canal and a feeling and my hair stop falling out after that. Now 20 years later is happening to me to with a different teeth I go to a dentist this time a different one since I live in the different country now. I told him please remove a metal feeler from my upper left teeth and I want a root canal because my hair falling out. He left it me and making jokes with an assistant. I had to tell them “ it’s not cool making fun of me” He don’t do a root canal change the feeler give me a temporary crown. Now my is midnight and my tooth is hurts. Probably my hair not going to stop.I do not get it if I am willing to pay for a Servise why not do a root canal, I am loosing my hair and I am a female and now I am in pain. ??
Orsi - 14-Jun-18 @ 8:26 AM
Excuse me. I can write good English. Today, I was surprised. I am 23 years old and The 18-year-old hair loss realized. In During time i used Propecia 1 mg and minoxidil . In the past week due to a tooth (Front teeth) infection that was visible in the photograph, the 3-dose penicillin antibiotics 8000 I used three consecutive days. Today, I noticed my hair loss has stopped. Iam sure.
mo - 22-Jan-16 @ 7:42 AM
I've had this infection for 8 years, felt a little pain but my dentists were reassuring me that the tooth is fine. I've also experienced a lot of health problems which has eased up after treatment of that tooth 5 months ago and I've been misdiagnosed with many other illnesses through these years. I've found out about my condition thanks to the article similar to this one because I've not only been balding on the top of my head but also had alopecia areata literally under the broken tooth since I remember my beard. My hair regrown a little but stopped, I hope it'll continue. I hate dentists, would use em all as a punchbag. Would love to chat with someone who has had this problem.
ThePolish - 21-Jun-14 @ 12:14 AM
I recently realize that my sudden hair loss could be from my poor oral health. with the chances of never getting my hair to grow back. I m currently seeing a dentist and I can only hope and pray, that I have positive results.I ask those of youwho have this problem, act now before all is lost.
clyde - 30-Jul-13 @ 12:14 AM
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