I am a 28-year-old woman. My teeth have generally been in good shape, but recently I developed a cavity and went to the dentist. He drilled and put in a white filling.

But weeks later, I found that almost all my teeth hurt. I went to another dentist for a second opinion. She said that I suffered from receding gums and advised me to use Sensodyne toothpaste and to stop using an electric toothbrush, which I have been using since I was a teenager. I was surprised, because I thought electric toothbrushes were recommended by experts. The first dentist didn’t say anything about receding gums. Do they cause gums to recede? Is there a way that electric toothbrushes can be used so they do not cause damage to the gums? – I.S., Jerusalem Prof. Jonathan Mann, head of community dentistry at the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine, answers: In order to diagnose any dental problem, one would first need an X ray and a clinical examination. Under the assumption that the problem of the patient’s tooth sensitivity is caused by gum recession, the reason could be inflammation of the gums (gingivitis or periodontal disease) or excessively aggressive tooth-brushing.

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