Alopecia areata, or localized alopecia is the medical term for hair loss that seemingly is of an unknown origin. This disease will usually first appear as bald spots on the head, but can spread to other parts of the body. Affecting both men and women of all ages, new research suggests that the onset of the illness may be traced back to certain infections inside of the mouth.
Thought to be an auto-immune disease, where the body is attacking its own cells, alopecia areata mostly affects the scalp, beards, eyebrows and eyelashes. The condition is not permanent, and the hair usually grows back after just a few months. Rarely it will progress, and cause more hair loss before on the entire body.
Research conducted at the UGR shows a direct relationship between dental disease and the hair loss. This would explain why it initially begins with the hair above the neck and will cease with treatment to the mouth infection. The hair follicles are not permanently destroyed, making it possible for the hair to grow back and replace what was lost.
What to Do if You Notice Sudden Bald Spots?
The sudden loss of hair is not normal, and should be checked by a physician immediately. Make sure you highlight any other symptoms, especially if they are occurring in the mouth. The physician then may send you to a dental specialist to diagnose any oral infections and have those treated to see if that puts a stop to the sudden bald patches.
If it is noticeable hair loss, women will often style their hair shorter in order to hide the effect. Men can shave their heads completely until the disease has been reversed. If the bald spots are in a man’s beard, he can either try different beard styles to hide them or shave it completely. At this stage, even high quality rubs ointments and oils like this at OptimusBarba.com won’t do the trick. For example, if the bald spot is close to the chin, he can change his current full grown beard into a goatee style for the time being.
Interestingly, a dentist may be able to locate the source of infection in the mouth by following the path from the bald patch. These types of auto-immune diseases seem to attack hair follicles in a straight line, starting at the source of infection.
If you do notice sudden hair loss, don’t hesitate on having it checked out. It can be a symptom of a gum disease, but it could also indicate something far worse.