How does the BPE work?
The BPE uses six numbers, one in each of three sections of your mouth comprising molars and premolars on each side, and incisors and canines as the central number. This applies to both the upper and the lower jaw making six scores in all. Each score is called a sextant. The severity of periodontal disease is graded from 0 to 4*. The maximum score in each sextant is recorded.
What do the scores mean?
0: There are no gum problems in that part of your mouth and all your pockets are within the normal range of up to 3mm.
1: Your gums bleed on probing. This is a local inflammation called gingivitis and if left can progress and cause your teeth to become loose. It is caused by poor plaque control in that part of your mouth.
2: Calculus. This could be both above or below the gums and needs to be removed by scaling your teeth.
3: Pockets of 3.5 to 5.5mm. This is called early periodontal breakdown and means that some of the bone that supports your teeth has been lost to gum disease.
4: Pockets of 5.5 to 8.5mm. This is called moderately severe periodontal breakdown and means that up to half of the bone that supports your teeth has been lost to gum disease.
4*: Pockets greater than 8.5mm. This is severe periodontal breakdown and means that most of the bone that supported your teeth has been lost. Some of these teeth may need extracting.