Alex Rodriguez is opening up about his health.
During an appearance on Wednesday’s episode of “CBS Mornings,” the retired MLB player revealed he’s been diagnosed with early-stage gum disease.
“Looks can be deceiving,” Rodriguez said. “I just recently went to go see my dentist, and not thinking anything about any gum disease, and then the dentist tells me the news. Then I come to find out that over 60 million Americans have this gum disease. So it’s important for all Americans, all viewers watching to go out there and take care of your teeth.”
The ex-Yankees star added that he learned his condition is “prevalent in Black and Brown communities,” particularly the Latino community.
When asked if his disease is related to “all the stuff baseball players put in their mouth[s],” such as gum, sunflower seeds or chewing tobacco, A-Rod brought up one of his “mentors,” the late professional baseball player, Tony Gwynn, who passed away from salivary gland cancer in 2014 at the age of 54. Gwynn believed his cancer diagnosis was due to his years of chewing tobacco use.
“You saw Tony Gwynn years ago passed … because of a lot of tobacco use from my understanding,” Rodriguez said. “So I’m not sure if it’s tied to that. I never did tobacco. I did a lot of sunflower seeds, but anyways, viewers at home, it’s always better to be safe. Go see your local dentist.”
The 47-year-old further share his thoughts on Gwynn passing away so young from mouth cancer, possibly caused by his chewing tobacco habit.
“You never tie it together,” Rodriguez said. “To think about just chewing tobacco leading to just the cancer, leading to death and a guy like Tony, whose such an amazing guy, played hoops at San Diego State, … and a great defender. Gold glover, and one of the great, great icons of baseball. One of my heroes.”
As noted by CBS, per the CDC, 47 percent of adults over 30, and 70 percent of adults over 65 suffer from gum disease.