tooth query

Tooth query? Ask an online dentist

I noticed my son has a hole in his gum under a bad tooth. Could this cause any problems?

My mother gets a bad taste in her mouth. Could it be from her new crown?

On patient dental charts, I realize that each tooth is assigned a number. How does the number system work?

If you have questions you never seem to get around asking your local dentist, try posting your questions to

Smileline Online,

, an online dental health bulletin board operated by the Academy of General Dentistry, an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing dental education.

SmileLine Online gives consumers, especially parents, an opportunity to have dental questions answered online, even outside of regular workday hours and on weekends. Anyone with Internet access can type in www.agd.org and look for the SmileLine Online logo (the big red grin) on the left side of the screen. The service lets people ask questions anonymously and receive responses within 24 hours.

This December, SmileLine Online celebrates its second anniversary. Over the past two years, SmileLine volunteers have seen repeat consumers asking a variety of questions. “Our frequent visitors know the service is a tremendous resource, and we hope to continue to raise more people’s awareness about dental well-being,” says John Comisi, DDS, FAGD, spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry.

In addition to posting questions on the Academy’s Web site, consumers can also find general information on subjects varying from air abrasion to X-rays.