Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology

: 2019  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 501--502

Why Periodontology as a speciality: Down the memory lane

Nymphea Pandit 
 Department of Periodontology and Oral Implantology, J. N. Kapoor D. A. V. (C) Dental College, Yamuna Nagar - 135 001, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Nymphea Pandit
Department of Periodontology and Oral Implantology, J. N. Kapoor D. A. V. (C) Dental College, Yamuna Nagar - 135 001, Haryana

How to cite this article:
Pandit N. Why Periodontology as a speciality: Down the memory lane.J Indian Soc Periodontol 2019;23:501-502

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Pandit N. Why Periodontology as a speciality: Down the memory lane. J Indian Soc Periodontol [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Aug 15 ];23:501-502
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Full Text

Till 1960, the concept of specialisation/specialist in dentistry was not there in India. Oral cavity was considered to be a confined area having teeth with similar composition and difference only in shape and size. With the commencement of post graduate education in India in 1959, Orthodontics achieved a status of speciality as it was concerned with aesthetics. As the pathogenesis of periodontal diseases was not clear till 1960, Periodontology as a speciality, did not gain much attention till 1960-70. With the advancements in the equipments related with the diagnosis and treatment, specially the microscope, there was a lot of information related to bacteriology of periodontitis. At the same time the field of immunology was making a great progress and since bacterial infection ultimately leads to inflammation in form of host response, it was very natural to associate periodontitis with the aberrations in the host response. Over a period of time many theories have been put forward explaining the pathogenesis of periodontitis. These theories initially started with bacteria as the predominant agent to the host response as major criteria for development of disease in the present era.

As the understanding of etiology and pathogenesis was improved in field of periodontology, it gained a lot of popularity as it relates with dynamics of systemic physiology and pathology as compared to other fields of dentistry which are predominantly mechanical in nature. These findings expanded the scope of Periodontology and it was then formally introduced in Dentistry as a separate speciality.

Oral cavity is no longer considered to be an isolated area and any abnormality in rest of body is reflected in mouth and vice versa. As periodontal specialists we are finding new vistas to either prove or disprove the hypothesis which have been laid down from time to time. These include the changes in the understanding of etiology as it relates to the local milleu as well as the far reaching effects of either the bacteria as a whole or the toxins elaborated by them.

The development of field of periodontal medicine has opened up plethora of mechanisms that link the chronic lifestyle diseases with the periodontal infection. For example periodontitis is considered to be the sixth complication of Diabetes. These facts have opened up innumerable opportunities for researchers to take up projects which may thoroughly change the perceptive for management of these chronic illnesses. One of the interesting aspects of this research would be to establish some modifiable risk factors for Alziemers disease. As presently, there is no established etiology of this disease, periodontal infection has been pointed out to be one of the risk factors in some studies. If this could be established we could have a breakthrough in management of Alziemers disease which presently is incurable.

Dental field is always evolving with a lot of literature added almost everyday. New treatments and diagnostic tools are always emerging in periodontology which keeps the field challenging. There are evidences of link between periodontal diseases and the systemic disease which can create research opportunities in the field.

The curriculum for post graduation also provides a ideal opportunity for studies in form of dissertation and add to the patient pool of the international research, thereby, contributing to the formulation of guideline for management of commonly occurring lifestyle diseases. This is exciting for the students and motivates them to take up projects which can help to fill up the gaps in the literature related to this relatively newer aspect of periodontal disease process and its implications.