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1st Impressions

Gum check-up - BPE explained

The standard World Health Organisation screening process for gum condition is known as the BPE (Basic Periodontal Examination).

This used to be referred to as CPITN (Community Periodontal Index of Treatment Need)

The mouth is divided into six sections referred to as sextants. (Upper and lower: front, right back and left back.)

A blunt probe with a 0.5mm ball at the end is carefully and gently placed in the space between the tooth and gum at 4-6 points round each tooth and the deepest pocket in that section of the mouth is noted in a 6 part grid (see example below). The other factors noted are the presence of plaque or calculus above and below the gum margin, and whether the gum bleeds at the slightest touch.

How do you rate?

0 Perfect no attention needed
1 Quite good some attention needed (1 visit)
2 Average Needs attention and advice (1-2 visits)
3 Trouble but nothing that cannot be corrected (2-3 visits)
4 Problems a series of appointments needed to limit tooth loss.

Where measurements of greater than 2 are found, a more detailed examination of affected teeth is performed to establish how extensive the problem is- a single measure of 2 or 3 may indicate a slight temporary local trauma, but several readings in the same sextant will indicate a a more significant problem requiring different treatment.
Examples of CPITN scores:

1 0 1       4 3 4
1 2 1   4 2 4

0 indicates less than 2 mm pocketing, no inflammation, no plaque and no bleeding.
1 indicates 2mm or less pocketing, some plaque or calculus and or some bleeding.
2 indicates more than 2 mm pocketing with inflammation plaque or bleeding.
3 indicates 4-5mm pocketing plus some plaque or calculus and or some bleeding.
4 indicates a pocket > 6 mm plus some plaque or calculus and or some bleeding.

Disease of the gums is painless.

You only know they are healthy when You’ve had them checked
More teeth are lost due to gum disease than all other causes combined.

1st Impressions Dental Practice, Marlowe Innovation Centre, (Near Westwood), Ramsgate Kent CT12 6FA
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