*CAUTION: Not All Dental Blogs Are Good*

The internet is a wonderful place, where any question you ask can be answered. Sometimes, questions you didn’t even know you had have their answers slammed in your newsfeed in the form of click-bait headlines. Headlines that you may or may not repeat to others. Headlines that are undoubtedly true, right? Wrong.

I like to peruse various dental blogs, because I am a dentist and I love teeth. I came across toothwisdom.org and a headline that read: “Study: No Significant Correlation Between Sodium Intake of Seniors & Mortality Rate”. Interesting. I consider myself a holistic dentist, so I try and stay abreast on possible new research, even if it does not directly relate to dentistry. I clicked on the link (which you can do as well) to see this “Blog Post”:

Sodium consumption has historically been understood as being bad for your health. However, a recent study conducted by the Institute of Medicine show that sodium intake is neither harming nor helping the health of individuals.

The study found no significant evidence proving that there is a correlation between elderly consumption of sodium and mortality rates.

The recommended level of sodium intake for seniors is currently no more than 2300 mg consumed per day. Though the study found no significant link, it is still advised that older adults keep a conservative handle on their sodium intake.

Um, ok. Not a lot there. But there is a link to the National Academy of Medicine’s release on their analysis of the study. To be clear, this is just a link to the findings, not the actual study. After reading the findings, I see a problem. The first part of that blog states sodium intake is neither helping nor harming individuals. Well, the study is about the mortality rate of seniors in comparison to sodium intake. The toothwisdom.org post failed to mention the finding states that there is still belief in evidence that shows sodium intake is related to high blood pressure, which can absolutely have peripheral effects on mortality rate. Also in the findings, the National Academy of Medicine points out the methodology of the newer studies is questionable at best. To me, this is all wishy-washy non-news, from both parties.

The lesson here is that not everything is black and white. Most things are not. Most scientific studies are long and boring for a reason. They need to display all data of all ranges. It’s complicated. That’s why it’s important to understand what it is you’re reading, who wrote it, and what their motivations might be.