The Dental Health of our Children – The Reality

Oral health is part of general health and wellbeing and contributes to the development of a healthy child and school readiness.

Tooth decay is the most common oral disease affecting children and young people in England, yet it is largely preventable.

Although oral health is improving in England almost a quarter (24.7%) of 5 year olds have tooth decay, so 1 in 4 children will have tooth decay when they start school. Each child with tooth decay will have on average 3 to 4 teeth affected.

The first survey of 3 year olds found that 12% had visible dental decay with on average 3 teeth affected. Tooth decay was the most common reason for hospital admission for children aged 5 to 9 years in 2012 to 2013. Over 63,000 children aged 0 to 19 years were admitted to hospital for tooth extractions in 2014 to 2015.

Poor oral health impacts on children and families wellbeing and is costly to treat. It suggests wider health and social care issues such as poor nutrition, obesity, the need for parenting support, and in some instances safeguarding and neglect. Children who have toothache or who need treatment may have to be absent from school. Parents may also have to take time off work to take their children to the dentist. Dental treatment is a significant cost, with the NHS in England spending £3.4 billion per year on all ages primary and secondary dental care (with an estimated additional £2.3 billion on private dental care).

Children who experience high levels of disease that are treated with fillings and other restorations will require complex maintenance as they age. Those children with a poor oral health regime and unrestricted dietary habits will fare the worst and have treatment which not only maintains their historic decay and poor oral health but also require treatment of new oral problems as they age.

Risk factors

Poor oral health can be caused by many factors including:

  • social inequalities where the imbalance in income, education, employment and neighbourhood circumstances affect the life chances of children’s development
  • poor nutrition and infant feeding with high and frequent consumption of free sugars
  • lack of access to fluoride including late commencing or infrequent tooth brushing with low or no fluoride toothpaste

Other risks are children:

  • who already have evidence of oral disease including previous decay experience or previous extractions under general anaesthesia
  • with medical conditions such as cardiac problems, cleft lip and palate and childhood cancers
  • Regularly consuming foods and drinks high in free sugars increases the risk of obesity and tooth decay. Ideally, no more than 5% of the energy we consume should come from free sugars. Currently, children and adults across the UK are consuming 2 to 3 times that amount. Sugary drinks have no place in a child’s daily diet but account for a surprisingly large proportion of the daily free sugar intake of both children and adults. Almost a third of the free sugars consumed by 11 to 18 year olds come from soft drinks.

Facts about oral health

  • Although largely preventable, tooth decay remains the most common oral disease affecting children and young people.
  • In 2015, 20% of 5 year olds had tooth decay in South East England compared to 34% in North West England with even greater inequalities within local authorities. Areas with higher levels of deprivation tend to have higher levels of tooth decay.
  • 5.6% of 5 year old children in England had tooth decay in their incisor (front) teeth in 2015. This measure is useful as it indicates where children have been affected by a particular type of tooth decay. This is an aggressive form of decay that affects upper incisors and can be rapid and extensive in attack. It is associated with long term bottle use with sugar-sweetened drinks, especially when these are given overnight or for long periods of the day.
  • A recent survey of 3 year olds in England found that 12% had tooth decay ranging from 34% to 2% across local authority areas.
  • During 2014 to 2015, there were 33,871 cases of children aged 10 and under needing the removal of one or more teeth: a rise of 3% on the previous year.
  • Tooth decay was the most common reason for hospital admissions in children aged 5 to 9 years old in 2013 to 14.
  • In 2014 to 2015, hospital trusts spent £35 million on the extraction of multiple teeth for under 18s.

Periodontitis – What is it?

Periodontitis

What is periodontitis?

Periodontitis is advanced gum disease. Certain plaque bacteria trigger inflammation, leading to destruction of the bone supporting your teeth.
Over time bone loss can cause tooth mobility, then tooth loss.

Not everyone is susceptible to periodontitis; it depends on your body’s response to inflammation. Smoking & diabetes are known risk factors.

Once you have periodontitis you will always have it. The disease is classified as active, stable or in remission.
Periodontal disease has bursts of activity. You may have had treatment for periodontitis in the past & require re-treatment.

If you have been diagnosed with active periodontitis we can help you.

How do you treat periodontitis?

The treatment for periodontitis does not grow the bone back that has already been lost. Periodontal treatment aims to lower your risk of tooth loss in the future.
We hope to decrease the depth of the pockets so, going forwards, you can maintain the gum pocket at home. It is much easier for you to keep a 3mm pocket plaque free, than a 6mm!
If you can keep the pocket plaque free, you lower the risk of ongoing inflammation & reduce your risk of further bone loss.
Your home care is the most important part of the treatment.
Upon diagnosis, in the first instance you will be referred to our Dental Therapists; Christina & Rachael. Your periodontal treatment plan is based on clinical evidence & tailored to you:

1) Hygiene phase

We are passionate about working with you to achieve better gum health. Establishing a thorough plaque removal home care regime, above & below the gumline, to a standard that will increase the success of the treatment.
This must be kept up following the treatment for long-term benefit.
Pocket depths measurements are taken & accessible calculus (‘tartar’) is removed.

2) Non-surgical periodontal treatment phase

This phase of your treatment plan is required to remove plaque retentive calculus & biofilm from the base of the gum pockets. Importantly; it also induces acute inflammation to encourage wound healing.
To keep you comfortable we administer local anesthetic (deeper sites tend to be ulcerated at the base of the pocket due to the chronic inflammation). Using a piezo ultrasonic scaler and site specific handscalers your Dental Therapist will carefully debride the tooth surface, removing the harmful bacteria from the base of the gum pocket. This process takes time.

It is normal for your gums to be tender for a week after the procedure. It is very important to keep up your home care during this healing phase.

3) Supportive care phase

Christina or Rachael will see you in 6-8weeks to check you are healing as to be expected. You will then be seen 3 months later to re-measure the pocket depths so we can monitor the progression of your gum disease.

Remember, once you have periodontitis you will always have it, you will continue to require frequent supportive care appointments.

As the gums are healing is they ‘tighten’ to the true bone level supporting your teeth. Gum recession can make your teeth appear longer in length & sensitivity can occur. We can help you manage the sensitivity symptoms.

These are positive signs that you are looking after your mouth well at home, the treatment is working; you are on the right journey to keeping your teeth for longer!

8 Ways your Tongue can tell you how Healthy you are

When we think about the health of our mouth we focus on our teeth. But our tongue is as important.

Not many people know it, but the tongue is a highly efficient and powerful muscle. Thanks to its rich supply of nerves and blood vessels it is also a very sensitive organ.

As a muscle it is an invaluable aid to speech, cleaning teeth (although it’s nowhere near as good as a toothbrush) and chewing and swallowing food.

It’s one of the few parts of the digestive system you can actually see. It is amazingly agile, moving when we eat and talk.

The length of the average tongue is 10cm but the size and shape can vary and still be normal – the tongue is unique in that it has the ability to shrink or grow depending on its surroundings.

If you lost all your teeth, the tongue would fill all the available space, but if you had dentures fitted after being toothless for years, it would shrink to an appropriate size.

Tastebuds are found all over the top and sides of the tongue, allowing us to taste anything we consume. While the tongue and teeth are working together to chew and swallow our food, the taste buds are reaping the flavour rewards.

According to traditional Chinese medicine there are five taste buds – bitter, sweet, salty, sour and spicy. This still stands true, but modern science has identified another taste – umami – which is a sort of meaty savoury sensation.

Contrary to popular belief there is no such thing as a tongue map or distinct zones for discerning between the various tastes. But even though science debunked this in 1974, wine glasses are still often misleadingly sold with the promise that they will direct wine to a specific part of the tongue.

Some people have been blessed with an abundance of taste buds. They are often referred to as super tasters and while they’re not necessarily connoisseurs they are very sensitive to certain tastes, which could explain how cheese experts can sample a really smelly cheese and know exactly when and how it was made.

It used to be common practice to use the tongue as an indicator of health. Today, this thinking is not so prevalent, and many consider it to be a very unscientific way of diagnosis.

A healthy tongue should be smooth, supple, slightly moist and pale red in colour. However, as with all body parts things can go wrong. Some of the diseases and conditions whose signs can and do show up on the tongue are:

1. Geographic tongue

This is a common condition, which creates a characteristic appearance instantly recognised by experts. The top and sides of the tongue develop irregular, smooth red patches, which look like the outline of a map and these are usually edged with wavy white lines.

Often, after a few weeks (or sometimes months) the position of these lines and red patches change, which is why the condition is called Erythem migrans. It is a harmless, benign condition that isn’t linked to any infection or cancer, but about one in 10 people with geographic tongue may have mild discomfort or a burning or painful sensation.

2. Anaemia

Red lines and patches on the tongue are common in people suffering from anaemia. Glossitis (inflammation of the tongue) is a symptom of this; the tongue appears very smooth and shiny and this is often accompanied by a burning sensation. Sufferers of pernicious anaemia may also find their tongue swells.

3. Iron deficiency

This is sometimes caused by a lack of minerals and vitamins such as B12, folic acid and copper. So, if your tongue is feeling less than in the pink it might be a good idea to get your iron levels checked. A sore tongue is also often a sign of a nutritional deficiency, usually vitamin B6.

4. Coated tongue

Another aspect you should be aware of is the coating on the top of your tongue.

All healthy tongues have a natural coating due to sloughing of the surface layer. If for some reason this doesn’t shed, then a furry coating will form, giving a white or discoloured appearance to the tongue. This is particularly common in people who have a very soft diet or are suffering from a febrile illness.

The colour and thickness of the coating can vary from day to day, from white to orange or brown depending on how much tea or coffee you drink and whether or not you smoke. A dry mouth may also make you more prone to a coated tongue.

The general consensus is that although it doesn’t look nice there’s rarely anything sinister about it.

5. Black hairy tongue

The tongue is covered with tiny little bumps called papillae. In some people these become overgrown so it gives the appearance the tongue is wearing a fur coat. Why it’s black is a mystery but it’s thought smoking, antibiotic use, steroid therapy and iron treatment all play a part.

Sufferers should be reassured that although the condition is unsightly it is perfectly harmless.

6. Thrush

Due to its humidity, temperature and hiding niches between the papillae, the tongue is the perfect location for colonisation of Candida albicans, otherwise known as thrush. This can easily be treated with Nystatin lozenges available from your pharmacy.

7. Hairy leukoplakia

This is a common oral condition and appears as white lesions on the tongue (though sometimes it can be the first sign of HIV).

8. Menopausal changes

Some women find fluctuating hormone levels during menopause can bring about a condition known as burning tongue. This condition is incredibly common and although it can be distressing it is rarely indicative of a serious underlying condition.

The best way to study your tongue is to get a small piece of cloth, stick your tongue out, fold the cloth over the tip and pull it gently towards you.

If you find something on your tongue that you haven’t noticed before it’s as well to get it checked out.

Never ignore bumps, open sores, swellings, discolourations or persistent pain and tenderness. It may be that you’ve dipped it in something too hot but it’s best to establish if that’s the case or not.

A handful of dark-coloured berries may lower the risk of tooth decay, a new study shows.

Scientists have found that nutrients in cranberries and blueberries can be highly effective in protecting the teeth against a strand of bacteria responsible for acceleratingtooth decay.

These natural compounds, known as polyphenols, help fend off harmful bacteria in the mouth.

The study supports previous research by suggesting these are good for oral health by preventing ‘bad bacteria’ from sticking to the teeth and gums.

This could help reduce tooth decay, plaque and gum disease

Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, believes polyphenols could eventually lead to new oral care products.

Dr Carter says: “The nutrients and fibre in fruit are vital for our health and wellbeing.  They help protect us against heart disease and cancer, as well as a range of other diseases.

“Cranberries seem especially good for our oral health, as their polyphenols stick around in our saliva and will continue to help our mouth, even after we’ve swallowed them.

“What is especially exciting is that these natural extracts are completely sugar-free. This means they can be added to oral care products in several ways.

“They can dissolve in water so can be used to create healthy drinks, as well as to reformulate unhealthy drinks packed full of sugar.

“They also have wider applications for tooth decay prevention and control.  Mouthwash could benefit from this ingredient, as could toothpastes. More testing must be done but it will be extremely interesting to see whether manufactures make more use of polyphenols in the future.”

Dark-coloured berries are among the best dietary source of antioxidants. They provide a good supply of water and fibre, as well as other nutrients.

However, along with other fruit, they may also contain high amounts of natural sugar.

The recommended daily allowance of sugar for an adult is 90 grams or 22.5 teaspoons per day. This includes 60 grams of natural sugar and 30 grams of added sugar.

One portion of cranberries contains up to four grams of natural sugar (equivalent to one teaspoon) while a serving of blueberries is nearly ten grams.

Dr Carter adds: “It is important to remember that whole fruit contains natural sugars. This means it can still cause a risk to teeth when consumed in high amounts and too often.

“It is best to eat fruit at mealtimes like breakfast, or straight after dinner. This will limit the number of times which our mouth is exposed to sugar and acid.”

Brushing teeth twice a day could prevent erectile dysfunction: Scientists find bad oral hygiene nearly TRIPLES the risk of impotence

Researchers reviewed five studies on more than 200,000 men’s health

  • It adds to growing evidence of link between gum disease and erection problems
  • Scientists think an inflammation-causing molecule in the liver could be to blame
  • Experts recommend people brush their teeth twice a day and floss daily 

 

Men who don’t brush their teeth twice a day are almost three times as likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction, a study has found.

Gum disease – caused by not brushing – is thought to boost the odds of damaging the blood vessels which supply the penis.

A review of studies involving more than 200,000 men has strengthened a direct link between the two conditions, experts claim.

The research adds to growing evidence poor oral hygiene can impact a man’s performance in the bedroom and potentially have other health consequences.

Scientists at Jinan University in China reviewed five studies on the link between periodontal disease (gum disease) and erectile dysfunction.

They found men with gum disease – triggered by bad oral hygiene – are 2.85 times more likely to struggle to get an erection.

Both conditions are common – almost all adults have some degree of gum damage, according to the NHS, but it can worsen and become a health concern if not treated.

Experts recommend people brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and clean between their teeth daily with floss or inter-dental brushes.

And ‘most men’ over the age of 40 will have episodes of erectile dysfunction, known as impotence, although it can affect men at any age.

Scientists believe erectile dysfunction and gum disease are linked because they’re both caused by the same type of inflammation in the blood vessels.

This inflammation can be triggered by a molecule called CRP, which is found in higher-than-normal levels in both impotent men and those with gum disease.

CRP is also elevated in men with heart disease, suggesting it begins by damaging smaller blood vessels before affecting major organs.

A study published last year by the University of Granada in Spain found the same connection between oral health and sexual performance.

Researchers there did the first study of the connection in European men and found impotence risk was almost double in men who didn’t take care of their teeth.

Almost three quarters of men – 74% – who already had trouble in the bedroom also had gum disease.

However, only 58% of the men without erection trouble had the oral health problem.

CEO of dental charity the Oral Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, said at the time: ‘This may turn out to be a wake-up call for men to start paying greater attention to their oral health, particularly their gums.

‘In recent years, gum disease has been linked with conditions like diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

‘But an increased risk of coming up short in the bedroom may be the final straw for men who might have been reluctant to spend a little extra time looking after their gums.’

The Jinan University study was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Pearly whites?

Our teeth and smiles are rated one of the most attractive features, and over the past few years the UK have followed American trends to have professional treatment to improve the appearance of their smile. However this can often involve some extremely invasive dental treatment that is not clinically required.

Whitening treatment has grown hugely in popularity in Britain and is a safe and effective way to brighten up your smile safely and affordably.

But what is tooth whitening, and what results can you expect?

What is tooth whitening?

Tooth whitening or bleaching is an effective and safe method of removing stains and reducing discoloration of teeth. This discoloration is caused in part by certain foods and drinks such as tea or coffee, red wine etc… As Rhod likes to say: “anything which will stain a white tee shirt will stain your teeth. Also tooth shades can naturally vary greatly from one person to another.

But please beware! Only registered dentists can carry out whitening treatment safely. There are still a lot of beauty salons and independent beauty therapists offering tooth whitening. These people are breaking the law! Their practice is illegal and extremely unsafe.

Whitening treatments 

At Absolute Dental we use a home whitening system which is easy to use, affordable and safe for your precious teeth.

We will take an impression of your teeth to make two mouth guards or trays and will instruct you how to use it with a whitening gel.

Then, using your trays at home, you regularly apply the gel for a specified period of time, usually 2 to 3 weeks. Whitening is gradual and gentle and you can keep using it until you get your desired shade.

Once the initial whitening treatment is complete, you can occasionally “top up” to maintain the new shade.

Whitening treatment can occasionally cause some sensitivity; this is easily remedied by using toothpastes for sensitive teeth or by simply taking a short break in the treatment.

The reason we all love whitening at Absolute Dental is that it is safe and effective. We have seen so many of our patients really delighted with their new shades and new-found love for their smiles.

If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment please call the Absolute Team on 01548 852165 or email info@absolute-dental.co.uk

PS: Whitening treatment also makes an amazing Christmas present!!

6 Ways To Make Christmas Healthier (for your teeth, at least!)

Christmas is the time when we notoriously overindulge, binge watch movies until we fall asleep in front of the telly & forget what day of the week it is! Bliss right? It’s a time to enjoy yourself and relax (once the Christmas shopping is done!) after a stressful year, however it’s also important not to forget about your teeth & health during this time of year, so here are 6 ways to make this Christmas healthier.

  1. Don’t ditch the routine

Ever get that ‘what day of the week is it?’ feeling during the Christmas break? It’s very common and because of this, usually our daily routine gets thrown out. However, try to stick to a good oral hygiene routine as especially during this time of year, your teeth take a bit of a hammering with the sweets, chocolates, sugary treats and drinks they go through!

  1. Christmas breakfast

The main event on Christmas Day may be lunch; however having a filling, healthy breakfast will help you to stop reaching for the Quality Street tin at midday.

  1. Swap the mince pie for a handful of nuts

Just as festive, and they won’t harm your teeth. Mince pies are quite high in sugar because of the dried fruit they are made up with, so instead reach for the nutcracker. Nuts are rich in vitamins and minerals, which help protect your teeth from decay.

  1. Drink water at the end of the office Christmas party

December is usually a busy month with lots of Christmas parties. A great tip is to make water your last drink of the night, as not only does it help to wash away the acid & plaque from the drinks, but also lessens the hangover!

  1. Fondue of a Christmas cheese board?!

Good news, cheese is not only rich in calcium, which promotes healthy teeth but also balances out the PH in your mouth after having an acidic drink, like mulled wine.

  1. Don’t deny yourself treats altogether

Denying yourself the good stuff is never a good idea, so if you can’t resist a chocolate coin or a Christmas tipple or two, chew some sugar-free gum or drink a glass of water to boost protection. Also, try not to snack, so your teeth are exposed to sugar and acid fewer times in the day.

How to spot mouth cancer

Beating mouth cancer is so dependent on diagnosing it at an early stage.

If it is caught early, the chances of surviving mouth cancer are nine out of ten – those odds are pretty good, and that’s why early detection is so important.

Sadly, far too many mouth cancers are not spotted early enough.

Mouth Cancer Action Month promotes the message ‘If in doubt, get checked out’. We encourage everybody to be mouthaware and pay more attention to what’s going on inside the mouth. Most importantly, if you notice anything out of the ordinary, it is essential that you tell your dentist or doctor immediately.

Checking for mouth cancer

As mouth cancer can strike in a number of places, including the lips, tongue, gums and cheeks, and given that early detection is so crucial for survival, it’s extremely important that we all know what to look out for.

Three signs and symptoms not to ignore are:

  • Mouth ulcers which do not heal in three weeks.
  • Red and white patches in the mouth.
  • Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth or head and neck area.

When checking for signs of mouth cancer you should follow the following routine:

Head and neck

Check if both sides look the same and search for any lumps, bumps or swellings that are only on one side of the face. Feel and press along the sides and front of your neck being alert to any tenderness or lumps to the touch.

Lips

Pull down your lower lip and look inside for any sores or changes in colour. Use your thumb and forefinger to feel the lip for any unusual lumps, bumps or changes in texture. Repeat this on the upper lip.

Cheek

Use your finger to pull out your cheek so that they can see inside. Look for red, white or dark patches.

Then place your index finger inside your cheek, with your opposing thumb on the outside gently squeeze and roll the cheek to check for any lumps, tenderness or ulcers, repeat this action on the other cheek.

Roof of the mouth

With your head tilted back and mouth open wide, your dentist will look to see if there are any lumps or if there is any change in colour. They will run their finger on the roof of your mouth to feel for any lumps.

Tongue

Examine your tongue, looking at the surface for any changes in colour or texture.

Stick out your tongue or move it from one side to another, again looking for any swelling, change in colour or ulcers. Finally, take a look at the underside of the tongue by placing the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth.

Floor of the mouth

Look at the floor of the mouth for changes in colour that are different than normal. Press your finger along the floor of your mouth and underside of your tongue to feel for any unusual lumps, swellings or ulcers.

If you find anything unusual in any of these areas, or are unsure of anything, visit your dentist or doctor as soon as possible.

Fear of Visiting The Dentist, and how it really can be overcome!

More than ten million adults in the UK have some level of dental anxiety. Not only does this mean bad news for the health of your teeth and gums but it can also have a significant impact on your quality of life.

Being apprehensive about paying a visit to a dental professional is an incredibly common problem. As many as one in five reportedly suffer from some level of uneasiness, ranging from mild nervousness to medically recognised dental anxiety.

Fear was identified as the biggest barrier by both men and women as a major barrier to dental visits, and interestingly, it was far more common in women (21%) than men (16%).

Odontophobia, more commonly known as dental phobia, is the fear of dentists and dental treatment.
If fear stops you going to the dentist, it can cause you big problems. Avoiding check-ups and treatment gives any issues the chance to get worse – possibly leading to dental emergencies.


Dental anxiety can be relatively easy to overcome, often patients just need the help of a caring dentist.
5 ways to tackle your dental phobia
Here are some practical steps you can take to beat your fears:
1. Talk to your dentist
Dental phobia is common, and it certainly won’t be the first time your dentist has encountered a patient that suffers from it.
2. Confide in a friend or family member
Vocalising your worries can often make them seem less overwhelming. A little support and encouragement can make all the difference.
3. Chat with other sufferers
Reading about other people with similar issues can make you feel less like you’re the only person in the world with a dental phobia. Any, you might learn some useful tips on how to deal with it. Here at Absolute Dental, we have a book of testimonials which include patients who arrived as  nervous patients and left with much more confidence after finding care and understanding here. Ask to read our testimonials. Knowing other people have been in the same boat, can be just the encouragement you need.
4. Practice relaxation exercises
If you start to panic, find a quiet place on your own where you won’t be disturbed. Sit comfortably, and then relax each part of your body starting with your feet, until you reach your head.

Next:
1. Breathe in imagining you’re filling up your lungs from bottom to top
2. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth
3. Count from one to five (or less if you can’t manage five at first) slowly as you breathe in
4. Let your breath escape slowly, again count from one to five
5. Repeat until you feel calm. Breathe rhythmically without pausing or holding your breath

5. Let go of bad memories
Bad experiences of the dentist can be the root of dental fears, especially if you’re over 50. But dental practices are not the clinical, unfriendly place they once were. You’ll still notice the smells and sounds, but much less than before. Equipment is much quieter, and instruments less noticeable. And it’s now possible to treat patients without pain. Come and see us for a complimentary “get to know you” appointment, and over a cup of tea, let us show you how things have changed.

7 Bizarre Facts About Cheese!

When you really stop and think about it, cheese is a downright bizarre food. From the way it’s made to the thousands of varieties out there to the ways it is eaten across the globe, cheese is unlike any other food on earth. But even if no day is complete without some night cheese, we bet that there’s a lot you didn’t know about this ancient and odd food.

It’s Great for Your Teeth

Cheese is high in calcium, which is good for bones and teeth, and some varieties help stimulate saliva production, which eliminates sugar and acids from the mouth, helping to prevent tooth decay. End a meal with a lump of cheese – it could revolutionise your visits to the dentist!

Eating Cheese Before Bed Can Help You Sleep

According to a study by the British Cheese Board, thanks to a high amount of the amino acid tryptophan in cheese, eating a piece or two of cheese before hitting the hay every night can help you fall asleep quicker.

Some Cheeses are Safe for Lactose Intolerant People to Eat

Since lactose is a type of sugar, the less sugar found in a cheese, the less lactose. And the older a cheese is, the less sugar in it. Natural aged cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano should be fine for lactose intolerant people to digest.

The Same Bacterium Is Responsible for Both Smelly Cheese and Smelly Feet

If the smell of stinky cheese reminds you of the smell of feet, it’s no coincidence: Both contain the same bacterium, called Brevibacterium linens.

The World’s Most Expensive Cheese Is Made With Donkey Milk

A Serbian donkey milk called pule is widely regarded as the most expensive cheese on earth, fetching upwards of $600 per pound. Only about 100 donkeys are milked for pule, and the cheese is smoked after it’s made.

Scientists Have Only Recently Discovered What Makes the Holes in Cheese

It’s long been assumed that carbon dioxide released by bacteria is responsible for the holes in Swiss cheese, but a recent study by a Swiss laboratory has found that it’s in fact tiny flecks of hay in the milk that cause them. These microscopic flecks develop into bigger holes as the cheese matures.

Mice Don’t Actually Like Cheese

Cheese-loving mice are an accepted part of life, like cats liking tuna. But in reality, mice prefer grains, fruits, and manmade foods that are high in sugar, and tend to turn up their noses at very smelly foods, like cheese. In fact, a 2006 study found that mice actively avoid cheese and dairy in general.