Baseball icon Alex Rodriguez is having some serious dental issues that are affecting his life.
The former New York Yankees star sat down with CBS News, where he shared that he’d been diagnosed with early-stage gum disease. While many people attribute the illness to chewing tobacco, Rodriguez says he never used the substance while in the league. However, he did admit to being an avid sunflower seed eater. While sunflower seeds are generally safe, they can be high in sugar and salt, both of which can lead to gum disease if consumed over long periods.
During his appearance on CBS News, Rodriguez says his dentist delivered the news to him. Now, he is determined to educate others about the disease, which disproportionately affects the Black and Brown communities. According to the CDC, 47.2% of adults over age 30 suffer from gum disease. For this reason, Rodriguez has partnered with oral health specialty pharmacy, OraPharma to raise awareness about dental health.
Medically known as Periodontitis, this condition causes damage to the soft tissue around teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. Symptoms include swollen and discolored gums, pus between the teeth and gums, loose teeth, pain when chewing, bad breath, and bloody gums. Rodriguez did not share what symptoms he was experiencing, if any. However, he still urged viewers to pay close attention to their dental health.
“Go out there and take care of your teeth,” Rodriguez advised viewers.