John Mankey Riggs (October 25, 1811 – November 11, 1885) was the leading authority on periodontal disease and its treatment in the United States, to the point that periodontal disease was known as "Riggs' disease."
Riggs was an opponent of periodontal surgery, which at the time consisted of gingivalresection. He promoted the concept of proper oral hygiene and prevention.
Riggs first demonstrated his method of conventional periodontal therapy in 1856: he removed salivary and serumal deposits and necrosed bone from the teeth with scrapers that he designed. He then applied a tincture of powdered myrrh and polished the teeth. He published his treatment in 1876.
^While Carranza's Clinical Periodontology provides a middle initial of "M.", Merriam-Webster's Medical Desk Dictionary, 2002. page 721 provides a middle name of "Mankey". The dictionary, however, provides only years of birth and death (1810-1885), while Carranza's provides dates, albeit with a different year of birth.