Studies comparing manual and electric toothbrushes show that the most important difference is their effectiveness in removing plaque and in preventing gum disease. Electric toothbrushes with rotation oscillation (with bristles going round and round and back and forth) are considered more effective than manual toothbrushes. The toothbrush should give you access to all tooth surfaces, allowing you to reach difficult access areas, such as the back and side of your mouth. A comfortable handle is useful as well. Here is a review of the best electric toothbrush for sensitive gums.
Top 3 Electric Toothbrush for Sensitive Gums
- Oral-B Pro 3000 (on Amazon)
- Philips Sonicare FlexCare plus (on Amazon)
- Philips Sonicare DiamondClean (on Amazon)
Do you believe that vigorous brushing will give you cleaner teeth? If so, you may be damaging your gums, as they are very delicate tissue. Enthusiastic brushing with hard bristles may damage your tooth enamel and result in bleeding, swollen or sensitive gums. Deterioration in enamel causes tooth sensitivity, which can be remedied if treated. The main symptom of tooth sensitivity is feeling pain when your teeth are exposed to cold air or water, during brushing, or when you are eating hot or cold meals. Using the best toothbrush for sensitive gums during brushing will help alleviate the problem.
Correctly brushing with gentle and circular motions can reduce plaque and massage your gums at the same time. Incorrectly brushing (up and down or back and forth) can irritate your gums. Continued incorrect brushing will make your gums recede, so that gaps can form between the tooth and gum line. Bacteria inhabiting these gaps will attack your gums, eventually exposing your tooth. If the problem is not addressed, you may lose the tooth.
Although sensitive gums and receded gums are a common problem, the problems happens so gradually that most people only become aware of it when they experience tooth pain or sensitivity, or loose teeth.
How can I avoid sensitive gums?
The best way to prevent sensitive and receded gums is to look after your mouth. Brushing and flossing properly everyday, and using a good mouthwash will help you maintain good dental health until you visit your dentist for a regular checkup.
When selecting a toothbrush for sensitive gums, the most important criteria to consider are:
Mode Effectiveness: Most electric toothbrushes come with at least 3 brushing modes. You should select the moderate or sensitive modes if you are concerned with the sensitivity of your gums. In higher end toothbrushes, there may also be a gum care or massage mode to stimulate your gums.
Timer: A toothbrush with a timer helps you to brush for the recommended time of 2 minutes. Generally, your mouth is divided into 4 brushing zones, and 30 seconds should be spent in each area to avoid over or under brushing.
Bristles: A soft bristled toothbrush is best as medium and hard bristles can damage your gums, and tooth enamel. Try to select bristles which have rounded tips as they are kinder on your gums and teeth. There are also special brush heads designed for sensitive teeth and gums, for example, Sonicare Sensitive Standard sonic toothbrush heads soft bristle brush heads for sensitive teeth and gums. Brush heads should be replaced every 3 months.
Pressure Sensors: Some electric toothbrushes come with a feature which helps the user to detect when they are pressing too hard against their teeth. The toothbrushes will beep, flash or stop to warn the user that too much force is being applied.
1. Oral-B Pro 3000
The Oral-B Pro 3000 is my favourite because it has all the required features and is great value for the price. Oral-B Pro 3000 does almost everything the higher end models do, minus the travel case and the slightly longer lasting lithium battery.
It has a round head which oscillates, rotates, and pulsates to break up and remove plaque. There are 3 modes (Daily Clean, Gum Care and Sensitive), a pressure sensor that lights up and stops pulsations if you brush too hard, and an in-handle timer that pulses every 30 seconds to help you switch areas and brush the dentist recommended 2 minutes.
The Gum Care mode is a massage feature for the gentle stimulation of gums. It operates at 2,600-8,800 oscillations and 12,000-40,000 pulsations. In Sensitive mode, the toothbrush operates at a lower speed (6,500 oscillations and 30,000 pulsations) to clean teeth and gums.
The Oral-B Pro 3000 toothbrush’s simple design looks attractive. The package comes with a CrossAction and a Sensitive brush head, which is the recommended soft bristled brush for sensitive teeth and receding gums. The brush handle is slim, and easy to grip due to the series of contours provided.
The product comes with a limited 2 year warranty.
Read here for Oral B Pro 3000 review.
2. Philips Sonicare Flexcare Plus
The Philips Sonicare Flexcare Plus is a light, well designed toothbrush. It has a slim, textured body ensuring a good grip, so is not slippery when wet. Although it lacks the pressure sensor, it is still worth seriously considering.
Of the 5 brushing modes (Clean, Gum Care, Refresh, Sensitive and Massage), 3 should be used for sensitive gums. The Gum Care mode provides 2 minutes of overall cleaning plus an additional minute to clean problem areas, helping to reduce plaque and gum inflammation. The Sensitive mode is used for a gentler cleaning experience, whilst the Massage mode stimulates blood flow in the gums.
The package comes with 2 Pro Results Gum Health (sensitive) brush heads, and a travel case. The travel case is sturdy and handy if you are travelling.
A Qaudpacer and 2 minute timer work together to help all quadrants of the mouth to be cleaned within the recommended 2 minutes. The icon panel is illuminated to show the selected modes when the toothbrush is on.
Because it does not come with a pressure sensor, remember not to press too hard when brushing.
A battery life of up to 3 weeks is excellent, especially when you travel.
If you have incredibly sensitive teeth and gums, then you might consider the Sonicare Flexcare Plus as it offers so many different intensity settings .
Read here for Philips Sonicare Flexcare Plus review.
3. Philips Sonicare DiamondClean
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean is a top of the range electric toothbrush that uses sonic technology to clean teeth at up to 31,000 brush strokes per minute.
Of the 5 brushing modes (Clean, White, Sensitive, Gum Care, Deep Clean), 2 should be used for sensitive gums. The Gum Care and Sensitive modes are common to both the DiamondClean and the Flexcare Plus electric toothbrushes, providing 2 minutes of overall cleaning plus an additional minute to clean problem areas, to reduce plaque and gum inflammation.
The package comes with a toothbrush handle, 3 brush heads (1 DiamondClean, 1 AdaptiveClean, 1 Intercare), 1 glass charger, 1 USB charging travel case and 3 brush head travel caps.
The glass charger uses conduction technology to recharge the toothbrush while resting in the glass; it can also be used for mouth rinsing after removing it from the base. The AdaptiveClean Brush head is effective for 10x more plaque removal compared to a manual toothbrush. Unfortunately, the Pro Results Gum Health (sensitive) brush heads are not included so have to separately purchased.
Like the Flexcare plus, the Qaudpacer and 2 minute smartimer work together to help all quadrants of the mouth to be cleaned within the recommended 2 minutes.
A battery life of up to 3 weeks or 42 uses makes it a good companion for travellers.
For those who love colour accessories, it comes in 6 colours: White, Black, Pink, Amethyst, Rose Gold.
Read here for Philips DiamondClean Review.
Toothpaste for Sensitive Gums and Teeth
To complement and optimise the results from using a great toothbrush for sensitive gums, dentists also recommend using a de-sensitising toothpaste. Two of the most effective toothpastes to counter the effects of acid erosion resulting in sensitive gums and teeth are the Sensodyne ProNamel Gentle Whitening and Colgate Sensitive toothpastes. In addition to reducing pain due to sensitivity, Sensodyne ProNamel will whiten teeth and make your gums and teeth less sensitive over time. It is also the most popular toothpaste for sensitive gums and teeth, by far.
Toothbrush Heads for Electric Toothbrushes for Sensitive Gums
Dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush heads about every 3 months. Indicator bristles on your existing brush head will fade over time to prompt you when the brush heads are worn and need to be replaced. Below are the replacement toothbrush heads you need for the toothbrushes in this article. If you need replacement toothbrush heads, click on your choice in the picture below to view on Amazon.
If you suffer from receding gums or sensitive gums and teeth, your best way forward (after visiting your dentist), is to brush with a good electric toothbrush designed for sensitive gums and teeth. Additional pain relief can come from using a complementary de-sensitizing toothpaste such as Sensodyne. When your gums are are well on the way to recovery, you may want to include water flossing as part of your dental hygiene plan (see here for best water flosser review). If you are concerned about bad breath and would like some information about top mouthwashes, the best mouthwash review may be of interest as well.