Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Who Was the First Periodontist?

Who Was the First Periodontist?

Many people have wondered, who was the first periodontist? Upon hearing this question, many have wondered, what is a periodontist? Well, we are going to discuss those questions and many more throughout the course of this article, to the best of our abilities concerning the documented evidence.

We know that periodontal disease has been a problem for people all throughout history. You see, as a specialty, periodontics – the study of periodontal disease, periodontitis, et cetera – has a very long and very full history. That history covers the whole of civilization.

There is evidence that even back in prehistoric times, our ancestors had some problems with their teeth. For example, people in the early Egyptian and Middle Eastern cultures had oral health problems. How do we know this? Well, for one thing, there is written evidence and skeletal remains which show the existence of periodontal disease.

In histories pertaining to ancient Chinese and Indian cultures, there exists evidence of periodontal diseases like scurvy. Within those same histories, there were actually pieces of advice pertaining to the importance of cleaning one’s teeth! The evidence piles up through history, from ancient Greek and Roman to Renaissance Europe. The diseases themselves were well described in the records available, as well treatments and methods of prevention.
However, the first periodontist came quite a bit later – not until the early twentieth century, in fact. Now, it stands to reason that periodontists likely existed before this; they simply were not documented. They may have gone by a different title. Around about 1914, however, all available accounts seem to suggest that Dr. Grace Rogers may have been the first practicing periodontist.
Given the long history of documented periodontal diseases and care, however, it only stands to reason that, in the equally long history of dentistry, other people must have practiced periodontology. We simply do not have the records of those possible forebears.
Disclaimer: If you have or think you might have gum disease or any other health problem, please visit your dentist or periodontist for advice, diagnosis and treatment. This article is for information purposes only and does not intend to provide advice, diagnosis or treatment for any health condition.

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