In this article, we will describe some of the causes of sensitive teeth and gum recession. We will then show you the toothbrushes that we recommend to avoid sensitivity when you brush and minimise any further gum recession. We’re going to show you the best manual toothbrush as well as the best electric toothbrush and give you all of the information that you need to choose. Amazon offer great deals on the toothbrushes that we recommend so if you want to buy a product that we’ve mentioned, we will point you in the right direction. Dr Andrew Wilson, our award-winning dentist expert, recommends these same products to his own patients.

Sensitive teeth

Sensitivity happens when you have exposed dentine. Most of your teeth are made up of a material called dentine. Dentine is very sensitive to touch and to temperature. This isn’t normally a problem because your dentine is covered by enamel and gum. But when the gum shrinks back or your enamel chips, your dentine is exposed and you get sensitive teeth.

Tooth diagram

Sensitive teeth can be caused by lots of things. It can be caused by acid damage, wear from over-brushing and gum shrinkage (also known as recession). Sensitivity with your teeth is extremely common but you must mention it to your dentist to make sure that it isn’t a sign if something going wrong. The first sign of tooth decay or gum disease can be sensitive teeth so it’s really important to get this checked out.

Gum recession

Gum recession can contribute to sensitive teeth. Your gums will recede naturally over time but excessive recession may be caused by gum disease or over-brushing. When you brush your teeth too hard, you can irritate the gums, causing them to shrink back. As with sensitivity, you should tell your dentist if you have concerns about gum shrinkage.

Which toothbrush should I use if I have sensitive teeth or gum recession?

With both of these problems, you need a toothbrush that is gentle but effective. It must be gentle so that you do not cause any further damage to the gums or teeth. But you still need a toothbrush that is effective at removing plaque (a soft build up of bacteria) to prevent tooth decay. First of all, should you be using a manual or electric toothbrush?

We have a whole article on why electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque than manual brushes. The existing scientific research backs this up, proving that electric toothbrushes do usually give you a better clean. You can still get your teeth really clean with a manual brush but it’s harder to do. When it comes to preventing further gum recession, a electric toothbrush normally has a sensor to stop you brushing too hard. This is another reason why an electric toothbrush might be best if your have sensitive teeth and shrinking gums.

Our guide to buying Oral-B electric toothbrush replacement heads.

I only want to use a manual brush. Which is the best?

Okay, if you are only interested in using a manual toothbrush, I would recommend the Curaprox Ultra Soft toothbrush. This is the best manual toothbrush available by far. I don’t normally recommend soft bristled toothbrushes because they are not up to the just. However, I have used this one myself and I think it’s brilliant.

The bristles of the Curaprox Ultra Soft toothbrush are made of CUREN rather than nylon. These CUREN bristles are incredibly fine, meaning that Curaprox can pack more in to the toothbrush head. They squeeze in 5,460 toothbrush bristles that give an amazing, gentle clean. Curaprox manufacture these to a very high standard and they last incredibly well. I cannot recommend this Curaprox toothbrush highly enough. And, because they are super soft, this toothbrush is great for anyone with sensitive teeth or a history of gum recession. They don’t sell these brushes in most supermarkets, they can be tricky to get hold of. We’ve found a great offer here from Amazon for a pack of three. Take a look.

Curaprox CS5460PACK Ulta Soft Toothbrush - Pack of 3
525 Reviews
Curaprox CS5460PACK Ulta Soft Toothbrush - Pack of 3
  • Make your gums fall in love with your CS5460 Ultra Soft Toothbrush. Octagonal handle helps users to brush at the correct angle
  • 5,460 CUREN bristles
  • Funky and Colourful
  • This item is available in different colors. You will receive a randomly chosen product from the range shown.
  • A pre-selection of a certain color by the customer is unfortunately not possible with the order

Best electric toothbrush for gum recession or sensitive teeth

The big benefit of using an electric toothbrush is that it does the hard work for you. Normally, I recommend the Oral-B professional care range of toothbrushes but they can be a little bit rough if you have sensitive teeth. To prevent further gum recession, the best option is the Philips Sonicare range. Philips Sonicare toothbrushes work by gently vibrating and pulsing to remove bacteria from the surface of your teeth. This is brilliant because this avoids causing irritation to your gums that might cause them to shrink back more.

There are loads of different toothbrushes in the Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush range. If you just want to know which is the best, keep reading.

If you want to learn about the whole range, click here to read our article.

My favourite electric toothbrush in the Sonicare range is the Philips Sonicare EasyClean. It’s one of the cheaper brushes in the range but it’s still brilliant. The top of the range from Philips costs around £260 but there isn’t much difference between this brush and the EasyClean. The main difference is that you get lots of extra gadgets and bluetooth (as if you need bluetooth in a toothbrush) in the more expensive model. I always recommend going for the Philips Sonicare EasyClean because it does exactly what it’s supposed to without the added extras and inflated price tag.

Just a quick point. The one downside with a lot of the Philips Sonicare toothbrushes is that the battery often stops holding charge after around 18 months of use so it need recharging all of the time. At this stage it might need replacing but for the price that the Philips Sonicare EasyClean is on Amazon, it’s still a bargain and excellent value. Make sure that you buy it with the DiamondClean head as this is the best in the Philips range.

Philips Sonicare EasyClean
2,478 Reviews
Philips Sonicare EasyClean
  • Removes up to 7x more plaque than a manual toothbrush
  • Easy-start programme eases you into using an electric toothbrush
  • 2 weeks battery life on a full charge
  • Inbuilt smart-timer signals when your dentist recommended 2 minutes of brushing are up
  • Our sonic technology is suitable for use with braces, fillings, crowns and veneers

If you want to learn more about Philips Sonicare toothbrushes, take a look at this article.

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