Eighteenth Century to the Present

Pierre Fauchard, the founder of modern dentistry, in his now famous 1728 publication Le Chirurgien Dentiste, or Traité des Dents, stated that the "relation between the gums and teeth is such that the diseases of one may easily extend to the other." In 1820, Eleazar Parmly recommended that for the "constant security of the teeth," all deposits on the teeth must be removed. He later became known as the "Apostle of Dental Hygiene." In the latter half of the nineteenth century, John Riggs, who was to become "the father of periodontology," described periodontal disease as a "progressive process from marginal gingivitis to the final exfoliation of the teeth." He developed preventive as well as surgical treatments for what he called "scurvy of the gums." For decades, any such condition was called "Rigg's disease."

Our understanding of periodontal disease, including its etiology and pathogenesis, grew enormously during the 1900s. Periodontal disease is currently under attack on several fronts, through preventive care, improvements in oral hygiene techniques, mechanical and chemical plaque inhibitors, nutrition, surgical intervention, drugs, and immunology. Much work, however, remains ahead, especially in the relationship of the disease to the host's immune system.

Jeffrey Levin

Your Heart and Nutrition

Your Heart and Nutrition

Prevention is better than a cure. Learn how to cherish your heart by taking the necessary means to keep it pumping healthily and steadily through your life.

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