A Brief History of Periodontics and Why You Want to Visit a Periodontist in Ft. Lauderdale

It is important to consider periodontal diseases, illnesses which affect the gums specifically, have existed as long as man has been on earth. The first treatments developed for addressing these ailments arrived in the forms of magical or religious ceremonies and rites alongside herbal remedies. The actual methodical, scientific practice of addressing periodontal disease only surfaced during the mid-19th century.


Before the ready availability of a periodontist in Ft. Lauderdale, the first dentists were barbers and blacksmiths, by trade.

A Brief History of Periodontics and Why You Want to Visit a Periodontist in Ft. LauderdaleAs they already dealt with matters of the head, the first “dentists” were barbers; additionally, with their experience in metal works, blacksmiths were the original practitioners of filling cavities. Earlier remedies for any sort of tooth pain was treated with extraction of the offending tooth or filling a cavity. Extractions were performed with the use of forceps or door keys; this painful procedure often damaged the gums and bone connected to the tooth.


Following the first opening of a dental school at the University of Baltimore during 1840, the periodontist was still unheard of and only the symptoms of gum disease treated as opposed to the root cause well into the 1970’s.

The focus on diseases specifically attacking the gums was not narrowed down until the 1980’s. The original goal of treating symptoms of gum disease was to eliminate the periodontal pocket which would damage gum tissue, prohibit regeneration of gum tissue, and artificially elongate and destabilize teeth.


The first periodontist was John Mankey Riggs for whom the original name of periodontitis, “Riggs disease” was assigned.

Born in Seymour, Connecticut and an attendee of the first dental school at the University of Baltimore, John Mankey Riggs was the first to narrow his field of practice to the gums. He was specifically against the destructive remedy of eliminating the periodontal pocket and was the first to develop non-surgical methods for addressing inflammation and infection of the gums.

More recognizable periodontal practices seen today following the efforts of “the father of periodontics” are known as scaling and root planning; these techniques are non-surgical methods for cleaning under the gum line between teeth and gum tissue. The development of anesthetics and antibiotics brought more beneficial and less harmful treatments into the practice known today as periodontology.


Visiting a periodontist in Ft. Lauderdale in our modern age is an investment in all the support structures inside the mouth, not simply the cleaning or disinfecting of gums.

A periodontist takes responsibility for more than gum health; gum health is connected to several other potentially serious issues. A periodontist inspects the gums and predicts future issues while resolving current problems. Left untreated, gum disease may lead to the loss of a tooth or, in severe cases, the requirement to remove part of the jaw. The most unfortunate cases of gum disease are sometimes the early warning signs of cancer, particularly for adult men.

Periodontists receive a great deal of training; in addition to undergoing training in regular dental school, three additional years of specialized study must be completed. Within this three-year span of focused training, periodontists learn to install dental implants in instances of tooth loss, treat cancerous gums, and perform jaw and gum surgery.


While a well-trained dentist in Ft. Lauderdale will recommend the specialized treatment of a periodontist accordingly, there are several indicators which should alert a patient to seek periodontal attention.

Experiencing red, swollen, or bleeding gums, particularly while brushing and flossing is a sign of the bacteria responsible for gum disease. This symptom is often connected to chronic bad breath or a persistent, sour taste in the mouth. If the gum line around your teeth appears to recede, forming deep pockets and teeth feel loose, this is another warning sign to see a periodontist.

Less obvious signs of need for the attention of a periodontist include changes in bite pattern and pain or sensitivity while eating or to extreme temperatures. If you have diabetes, this may constrict the circulation needed for health gums; additionally,the bacteria which is behind periodontitis thrives on sugar. Smoking is likewise connected to impaired circulation placing smokers at a higher risk for developing gum disease.

Visit a highly qualified periodontists in Ft. Lauderdale to learn more about how to plan for the betterment of your future dental health.

Find an experienced and extensively trained periodontist in Ft. Lauderdale to answer your questions about your gum, jaw, and dental health at Florida Smiles Dental. The 5-star rated dental healthcare facility has two locations; 255 SE 14th Street, #1a as well as the office in Lighthouse Point, near Pompano, at 2211 N.E. 36th Street, #201. Visit the Florida Smiles Dental online or call 954.504.9758 for more information.





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