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Zinc Overdose: the Trouble with Denture Cream

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Santa Fe, NMPeople who use Fixodent and other denture adhesives may be aware of the risk of denture cream zinc poisoning. What they may not realize is that denture adhesive zinc poisoning has been shown to cause neurological damage—some of it irreversible—and that it is very easy to ingest excessive amounts of zinc.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times on December 21, zinc can be found in supplements, cold medicines, denture creams and fortified foods. And although zinc deficiency can create problems of its own, zinc poisoning can cause memory loss, nerve damage, copper deficiency and other neurological issues.

Among those most likely to suffer from zinc poisoning are people who use excessive amounts of denture cream. One tube of denture cream is meant to last a month, but people with loose-fitting dentures often use one to two tubes of denture cream a week. Add to that the zinc they may be taking in from other sources, and denture cream users could have astronomical amounts of zinc going through their system.

The recommended daily intake for zinc is 11 milligrams for men and eight milligrams for women. All it takes, according to the Los Angeles Times, is consumption of zinc equaling more than 50 milligrams a day for a few months to create health problems. One gram of denture cream contains between 17 and 34 milligrams of zinc, so people who overuse denture cream could get as much as 330 milligrams of zinc everyday. Some of those people have overused denture cream for years.

Some denture cream makers have taken steps to warn consumers about the risk of using their product in excess or while taking a zinc supplement. However, consumers say the warning comes too late—they should have been warned sooner about the risks associated with denture cream overuse.

At least one lawsuit has been filed against the makers of certain dentures. The plaintiff argues that her denture cream caused her neuropathy, and that she would not have used the denture cream if she had known about the risks.


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