It’s officially baseball season, and here in Texas, that means sunny days at the ballpark, great food and exhilarating ballgames. But there’s one thing still associated with baseball that’s not-so-great: smokeless tobacco. Minor league baseball and many organizations have banned the use of these products during games, but this dangerous habit is often seen in use in the highly-visible world of Major League baseball.
Tobacco use, even smokeless or chewing tobacco, is no way to win the game. What’s so bad about smokeless tobacco?
- STRIKE 1: It causes gingivitis, bad breath and stained teeth.
- STRIKE 2: It recedes and deteriorates the gum line, leaving your teeth and roots vulnerable to sensitivity, gum disease, decay and potentially tooth loss.
- STRIKE 3: It increases the chances of developing oral cancer. More than 28 cancer-causing ingredients are found in chewing tobacco and snuff.
Use of smokeless tobacco products by celebrity ball players isn’t just an eyesore, it’s a liability. Smokeless tobacco is no less dangerous than smoking cigarettes, and many studies point to the health risks of long-term nicotine exposure. One study cites that long-term snuff users may be 50 percent more at risk for cancers of the cheeks and gums.
So when you and your family take a trip to the ballparks this summer, step up to the plate and reinforce to children that smokeless tobacco is never a home run!
April is Oral Cancer Awareness month. While tobacco users are especially at risk, all patients should be screened by their dentist annually. Need a dentist in Dallas County? Find one here!
Guide to quitting smokeless tobacco: