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Losing Your Hair? Brush Your Teeth!

Posted in Personal Health 30 Mar, 2015

If you're in the habit of neglecting your teeth and gums, you could be in for more than a couple of fillings and a visit to the dentist chair.

The findings

Researchers from Maryland's US National Institutes of Health have discovered a link between dental cavities and mutations in the protein keratin. This protein makes up the majority of the hair shaft, keeping your hair strong and healthy – it's an ingredient often found in strengthening shampoos and conditioners. Research has shown that one particular strain of the protein associated with healthy hair known as epithelial keratin is also found within tooth enamel.

Those suffering from keratin mutations associated with their dental health may have the same abnormal structure in their hair, which can ultimately result in hair loss. Talking about the link between the protein and tooth decay, Dr Oliver Duverger explained that, "functional analyses revealed that mutations in hair keratins result in altered enamel structure and reduced enamel micro hardness".

Symptoms of hair loss can also be linked to certain mutations and a decreased level in the DLX3 chemical used to regulate the protein's expression that are produced by tooth cells found in human enamel. In addition, the study delved into the function of a particular set of hair keratins found within the tooth enamel, exploring the presence and functionality of the protein and its relation to hair loss.

Why are you losing your hair?

Regardless of whether you brush daily or not, the main factor behind baldness is still genes, followed by stress whether that's a physical or emotional association and then various other causes, such as:

  • Thyroid issues
  • Scalp infections and other skin disorders such as lichen planus and strains of lupus
  • Medications associated with treating cancer, arthritis, depression and high blood pressure
  • Hairpulling disorder
  • Certain hairstyles such as extensions

Your dental hygiene

This research has shown a link between dental hygiene and hair loss, however good oral health is important for more than keeping your roots strong and your mane glossy. We all know the rules about looking after your teeth:

  • Brush twice and floss daily to prevent decay
  • Use an electric brush for extra effectiveness
  • Remember to brush your tongue
  • Keep your brush in a dry open space, cleaning with water after every brush
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months

If you are concerned about hair loss, particularly male pattern hair loss, visit our information page to find out more about this condition and treatment options.

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