There is a close relationship between dental disease and hair loss, according to researchers from the Department of Stomatology at the University of Granada, (UGR) Spain. Professors José Antonio Gil Montoya and Antonio Cutando Soriano, advise visiting the dentist when patients notice the presence of alopecia areata, or localised alopecia, a type of hair loss which has an unknown origin but which is thought to be auto-immune in nature.

Alopecia areata starts with bald patches on the scalp, and sometimes elsewhere on the body. The disease occurs in people of all ages, and experts believe that it affects one in 1,000 people. According to the Professors at the UGR, the affected hair follicles are not totally destroyed. Therefore the hair can grow back – hair re-grows in most patients after several months, although in a quarter of all patients the condition recurs once or more.

The researchers noticed that some outbreaks of localised alopecia appeared to be associated with dental infections. They explained, '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.'

They advise patients with alopecia areata to visit their dentists in order to receive a careful examination of their oral health.