Denture Cream Causing Zinc Poisoning and Nerve Damage

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Dentures, which are commonplace in modern dentistry, rely on various brands of denture creams to function properly. Many consumers, however, do not realize the inherent dangers the most popular denture cream brands and others pose to regular users. According to an article in the “Neurology” journal in August of 2008, researchers ascertained that many popular brands of denture creams, such as Poli Grip, Super Poli Grip, and Fixodent, contained dangerously high levels of zinc, leading to overexposure in regular users of these products. These products do provide recommended usage patterns, however, alarmingly, most users are not even aware of these recommendations for proper use, let alone the dangers overuse poses to their personal health.

Warnings to Consumers about Dangers in Denture Creams

The makers of the most popular denture cream brands are not legally required to label their products with a mention that it contains zinc. Even more disturbing, a quick read through of most manufacturer recommended use for denture creams shows an extremely ambiguous and aloof set of directions for proper, safe usage. Commonly, only a blanket statement mentioning use once a day unless otherwise directed is affixed to the product. The amount of this once a day application is anyone’s guess. However, research has shown that improper use of denture cream is hazardous to consumers, and without proper labeling, many consumers have erroneously placed themselves at serious physical risk.

Problems with Dentures Causing Overuse of Dental Creams

The nature of wearing dentures causes many consumers to err on the “safe” side when applying adhesive denture creams. Over a period of use, many consumers will note their dentures do not fit as well as they have, and in turn, attempt to compensate for these loose fitting dentures by applying denture creams more liberally. Here is where the crux of the problem occurs. The repeated or overly liberal use of denture creams exposes consumers to hazardously high levels of zinc, which over time, can lead to serious side effects. According to the August 2008 article in “Neurology”, safe usage of denture creams consists of:

  • Making one tube of denture cream last from three to ten weeks, which is contrary to study results that show consumers suffering from overuse used two tubes on a weekly basis
  • Allowing individual daily exposure to zinc levels of less than eleven milligrams, which is a fraction of the levels of up to 330 milligrams of exposure incurred by heavy denture cream users

Health Issues Associated with Overexposure to Zinc

Chronic overexposure to zinc is known to cause serious health complications, including hazardously reducing the levels of copper found in the body. Some of the common symptoms associated with overuse of dental creams, which leads to zinc poisoning, include:

  • Numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • Paralysis
  • Loss of sensation
  • Intramuscular weakness
  • Anemia
  • Bone marrow complications
  • Other neurological problems limiting mobility, sensation, and motor control

In some cases, patients have regularly mentioned feeling as if they are wearing socks, gloves, or some other form of clothing on their hands and feet, even though no article of clothing is actually on the affected area. Zinc poisoning will inevitably lead to dysesthesias and paresthesias, which are both neurological conditions leaving patients with feelings of burning, itching, numbness, tingling, and otherwise an overall feeling of discomfort.

Getting Legal Help for Damage Caused by Zinc Poisoning

Consumers using denture creams should be aware of the associated risks at all times, and if necessary, consult their dentist or physician regarding proper usage or undesirable symptoms. Additionally, consult with a healthcare professional regarding the safest brand of denture cream available based on the amount of zinc present in the cream.