Dr. Kathleen Mullaney • DDS • FAGD

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Signs that you may need a root canal

Signs that you may need a root canal

Root canals are used to save teeth that have become badly infected or decayed. It can be challenging to know whether you need root canal therapy or another treatment, especially if you experience tooth and gum pain or sensitivity to temperature. Physical symptoms usually do not start until the issue has become advanced, which is why we recommend calling our office right away.


So when do you need a root canal? Here are some common signs that you may need a root canal. As always, each patient is different so give us a call to set up an appointment so we can get you the care you need.

Tooth and gum pain

So when do you need a root canal? Pain is one of the most well-known indicators that something is wrong with your tooth. Although tooth and gum pain does not necessarily mean you require a root canal, most infected teeth do cause some form of discomfort. Your pain may get more intense when applying pressure to the area, chewing, or brushing your teeth.


Swelling and inflammation

In addition to pain, root canal patients may also experience dental swelling and inflammation. You may feel a slightly raised or tender spot along the gumline or swelling in your entire face and neck. While swelling could go away on its own or resolve with over-the-counter medications, this does not solve the central problem.


Sensitivity to temperature

Dental hypersensitivity could have many causes. Even though it is normal to have some sensitivity to temperature, like when eating an ice cream cone, severe sensitivity is a clear sign that something is wrong.


Dental abscess

Patients with a badly infected tooth may get a tooth abscess or a pocket of pus caused by an infection. Abscesses cause swollen gums, discomfort, or an unpleasant taste in your mouth. It is very important to seek dental help right away because an untreated abscess can make it difficult to breathe or swallow.


Thanks to new advances in dental technology, root canal therapy can be a fast, easy way to treat an infected tooth. Call Dr. Mullaney if you are experiencing pain or discomfort.

Deal of the Day

* Includes necessary X-rays, Velscope Oral Cancer Screening and periodontal examination
(New Patients Only, excludes cleaning. Not billable to insurance)

Trusted in the Community

Had my first visit to Dr. Mullaney’s office this month since the pandemic and the experience was gold standard. The safety processes and clean office environment were impeccable. Dr. Mullaney and staff were, as usual, amazing. Every step was explained, the protective garments worn by staff were the best I have experienced. It was a safe and positive visit and I recommend making an appointment!!

I am a new patient. After my first dentist appointment with Dr. Mullaney, I left feeling very informed and in control of ultimately making decisions about the care and treatment I receive. The staff is incredibly kind and knowledgeable. I love that they participate in helping veterans through The Freedom Day USA program. They are committed to providing a very clean and friendly atmosphere. In addition this practice goes out of its way to bring comfort and the latest in dentistry to all their patients.

I never thought that a person could enjoy going to the dentist until I started seeing Dr. Mullaney. Her attractive and serene office and Dr. Mullaney and her competent and friendly staff make every visit a pleasure. They have a gift for making each experience smooth and efficient, with meticulous attention to the patient’s needs and comfort. On a scale of 1 to 10 this practice is a 15!

Dr. Mullaney and her staff are absolutely wonderful. They are very professional, personable and greet you by name when you walk in the door. Dr. Mullaney is very talented and really has perfected her craft. Even with a last-minute treatment change, she is unwavering in performing the highest quality treatment available. I am extremely grateful to you all for making my visit pleasant and even fun!