Today the majority of the population is aware of the importance of taking care of the gums and maintaining good oral health in order to boast of good health in general. However, you may be surprised to learn that human concern for periodontal disease comes from afar.
THE BEGGINING OF THE HISTORY OF THE PERIODONTICS
Specifically, according to experts, the history of periodontics begins with the Sumerians and from there to the present day. And it is that already in the year 3,000 a.c it is known that in Mesopotamia oral hygiene was practiced. Proof of this are the decorated gold toothpicks that have been found in numerous sites in the area.
An interest in the cleaning of the mouth that does not surprise us if we consider that periodontal disease was one of the most frequent in ancient Egypt.
They are not the only ancient references we find. Hippocrates of Kos was a physician of Ancient Greece and who, through the ailments of his patients, devoted himself to identifying the causes of periodontal disease. What did he discover? Well, for example, that the inflammation of the gum could be due to accumulations of stones or, that gingival hemorrhage incurred in case of splenic diseases.
The history of periodontics also takes us to the years of the Roman Empire in which there were also important advances thanks above all to two names: Aulus Cornelius Celsus and Paul of Aegina. The latter, in fact, is credited with the creation of a medical encyclopedia consisting of 7 volumes in which oral surgery is already discussed.
In this review of the history of periodontics you can not miss a stop in the Renaissance and is that the renewal in the sciences that took place at this time also had its effects on medicine in general and dental health in particular. It is in this century when a first identification and differentiation of the types of periodontal diseases is made or innovative techniques for the time such as gingivectomy begin to be used.
THE FATHER OF MODERN DENTISTRY
According to experts, modern dentistry was born in Europe and this is thanks to the fact that in this continent was “The father of dentistry”. This is how Pierre Fauchard is known and is that this French doctor published books in which he described the anatomy and basic oral functions, collected the symptoms of most oral problems and put on the table different treatments to cure periodontal diseases.
To Fauchard, we also owe many of the treatments that we continue to use in dentistry today from the invention of the filling as a treatment for cavities to the first dental appliances, then made of gold and that were fixed to the tooth thanks to waxed linen threads.
Levi Spear Parmly
The history of dental floss, like that of periodontics, is also linked to ancient civilizations. However, to find examples of dental floss similar to those we use today we must go back to the nineteenth century when a dentist in his New Orleans practice, Levi Spear Parmly, began to recommend his patients to use this set of fine filaments to deepen their buccal hygiene.
KEY ADVANCES IN GUM DISEASE
It is precisely in the last years of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that essential changes are achieved in the identification of the causes of gum disease and in the treatment of periodontics. One of those key advances was to recognize bacteria as the cause of periodontal pathologies, or the description of periodontal surgery with flaps.
A PATHOLOGY THAT MATTERS
All this journey allows us to recognize that treating this type of dental disease has been vital throughout the history of the human being until 1947 when the ADA recognized periodontics as a specialty within dentistry.
To this fact we must add that every May 12 the European Federation of Periodontics and the Spanish Society of Periodontics promote the celebration of the European Day of Periodontology with the aim of promoting prevention and awareness of the relationship between periodontal health and health in general.