Denture Creams, Like Fixodent & Poligrip, Linked to Neuropathy, Zinc Poisoning & Other Side Effects
Posted Jan 26 2009 10:39am
A recent study suggests that excessive use of denture creams, such as Super-Poligrip and Fixodent, may cause copper deficiency, nerve damage and a serious nerve disorder called neuropathy. The study, which was published in the medical journal Neurology, was conducted by researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and reported on four denture-wearing patients who developed nerve damage.
All four patients displaying symptoms of nerve damage had abnormally high levels of zinc in their blood, accompanied by abnormally low levels of copper.Denture cream contains high levels of the mineral zinc, which, along with copper, regulates much of the neurological activity in the body. According to the denture cream study, denture wearers may absorb the zinc contained in denture cream through their gums, which may lead to zinc poisoning and copper depletion. Zinc poisoning and copper depletion can cause serious and even life-threatening nerve damage, including the permanent nerve disorder neuropathy.
One of the patients involved in the study suffered from nerve damage that caused weakness in the hands and poor balance. A second patient suffered from nerve damage that caused her to experience cognitive problems, urinary incontinence, and weakness in the arms and legs so severe that she was rendered wheelchair dependant. For these two patients, discontinuing denture cream use and taking copper supplements alleviated some of their neurological symptoms. Another patient, who took copper supplements but didn’t stop using denture cream, experienced improved copper levels, but his zinc levels remained too high and he showed no improvement in neurological symptoms. The fourth patient, who took copper supplements and stopped using denture cream, showed improvement in copper and zinc levels but showed no improvement in neurological symptoms.
Although researchers say one tube of denture cream should last roughly three to ten weeks, the four patients in the study all used about two tubes of denture cream each week. Three of the four patients involved had been using “extremely large amounts of denture adhesive daily for years.” Based on the patients’ denture cream use, the researchers estimate that they each were exposed to at least 330 mg of zinc daily, far more than the recommended daily allowance of 8 mg for women and 11 mg for men. Unfortunately, many of the more than 35 million Americans who wear dentures are unaware of the link between denture adhesive creams and serious side effects, as the Fixodent and Super-Poligrip labels don’t contain warnings about zinc poisoning, copper depletion, or neuropathy. Indeed, in the case of Fixodent, it does not even identify zinc as a substance contained in the adhesive. Currently, most denture adhesive creams are Class I medical devices and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require denture cream manufacturers to warn the public about these potential side effects.
ConsumerInjuryLawyers.com is a consumer advocacy website that provides free information about denture cream zinc poisoning.
If you or a loved one uses Fixodent, Super-Poligrip, or another brand of denture cream and suffers from symptoms of zinc poisoning or neuropathy, you could be entitled to compensation. Find out more about denture cream zinc poisoning lawsuits.