18th Feb 2020


Periodontology or Periodontics is a term derived from a Greek Word - peri "around"; and ὀδούς odous "tooth", genitive ὀδόντος odontos. Which in general mean the study of structures surrounding the tooth, their diseases and management of these supporting structures.

The surrounding structures of teeth related to Periodontology –

  • 1.Peridontal ligament
  • 2.Gingiva
  • 3.Cementum
  • 4.Alveolar bone

History of Periodontology:

  • 800 BC – Susrutha for the first time documented the disease that gums swell around the teeth, become putrified emit a fetid smell and ooze a black slimy material when infected along with loose teeth. This was the first ever documented case of Periodontitis. In his book he mentioned the use of brushing teeth and mouth rinses to clean the surface of the tongue.
  • 350 BC – Aristotle writes in his notes about the causes of periodontal disease &discusses the nature of occlusion & the shape of teeth .
  • 25BC to 50AD – Celsus writes about treating gum diseases
  • Abulcasis – Noted that Calculus deposits on teeth were the reason for Periodontitis. He developed instruments for Scaling and removal of Calculus from the tooth surface.
  • Guy de Chauliac- Suggested medications for gum diseases. Suggested Pomegranate juice as an Astringent Mouth wash. He told that Tartar cannot be removed with mouth washes but have to be removed mechanically with scalers.
  • 1530 – The first book on dentistry was published in German.
  • Tartar was described as – Precipitated and coagulated remnants of food which were dried up by the action of salt.
  • 1563 – Eustachius published Libellus de Dentibus. Highlighting the use of Scaling and Curettage of granulation tissue to allow reattachment of gingival and PDL tissues in treatment for Periodontal Disease.
  • 17th Century – Antony van Leeuwenhoek discovered the existence of Micro Organisms on teeth and named the layer covering the teeth as “Dental Plaque”
  • Leeuwenhoek and Marcello Malphigi – Discovered and Performed microscopic studies of tissues of Oral Cavity.
  • 18th Century – Pierre Fauchard concentrated on the concept of Local Etiology for Periodontitis opposing the Systemic Etiology theory.
  • John Hunter – Highlighted the terms Pocket formation and Bone Loss. He also differentiated gum diseases from scurvy and also mentioned ANUG.
  • Thoas Berdmore – Published and authored “A Treatise on the disorders &deformities of the teeth & gums”. He was the first dentist to use surgery to remove Hyperplastic Gingival tissue.
  • 1880 – Germ Theory by Pasteur and Koch was Proved which led to the discovery that Micro Organisms were the cause of Periodontal Disease.
  • 1881 – Described in detail the Clinical Features of Periodontal Disease – gum recession, Pockets, Calculus, Suppuration, infectious alveolitis.
  • 1890 – Miller published “The Microorganisms of the human mouth” highlighting all the microorganisms in the oral cavity both helpful and harmful micro organisms
  • 1896 – William Herberst Robins used radiograph for the first time in diagnosis of Periodontal Disease.

Topics under Periodontology or Periodontics:

  • 1.Anatomy and Development of Periodontium
  • 2.Biology of Periodontal Tissues
  • 3.Classification of Periodontal Diseases
  • 4.Epidemiology of Gingival and Periodontal Diseases
  • 5.Microbiology in Tooth and Periodontal Tissue (Dental Plaque)
  • 6.Calculus
  • 7.Instrumentation used in Periodontology
  • 8.Host Response, Host Defense
  • 9.Host Modulation in Periodontal Disease
  • 10.Trauma from Occlusion
  • 11.Role of Systemic Diseases in Etiology of Periodontal Diseases
  • 12.Pathogoneis of Periodontal Diseases
  • 13.Oral Malodor
  • 14.Smoking and Periodontal Disease
  • 15.Gingival Diseases – Defense Mechanism of Gingiva, Inflamation, Enlargements, Acute infections, Dequamative Gingivitis
  • 16.Periodontal Disease in Children and Young Adolescents
  • 17.Periodontal Pocket
  • 18.Pattern of Bone Loss and Bone Destruction
  • 19.Periodontitis – Chronic, Aggressive, Necrotizing Ulcerative Periodontitis
  • 20.AIDS and Periodontium
  • 21.Diagnostic Procedures of Periodontal Diseases
  • 22.Furcation involvement
  • 23.Mucogingival Surgeries – Flap surgery, Guided Tissue Regeneration ..etc
  • 24.Endo Perio Lesions
  • 25.Dental Implants – Periodontal Considerations
  • 26.Treatment Planning in Periodontal Disease
  • 27.Drugs used in Periodontal Therapy

Periodontology is a very important branch of dentistry as it deals with preventing the loosening of teeth and also the techniques in which the loose teeth can be steadied to last longer in the Oral cavity. With certain techniques such as Gum Depigmentation where dark Gums are being treated upon to get a pink Gingiva is gaining popularity in the Cosmetic Dentistry field along with the use of Lasers in all procedures.