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Is There a New Wrinkle in Denture Cream Zinc Poisoning?

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Windsor, ONConcern over Fixodent denture adhesive and other denture creams containing zinc has been top of mind for denture wearers for some time now, culminating in a letter reportedly sent to the makers of two popular brands of denture cream by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in late February. The regulator reportedly called on GlaxoSmithKline and Procter & Gamble to remove zinc from their denture cream formulations. The Windsor Star reported March 3 that Health Canada, the Canadian health regulator, had endorsed an announcement made by GlaxoSmithKline to health care professionals with regard to overuse of denture adhesive.

Fixodent zinc poisoning is an issue that has served to surprise denture cream patrons who have long believed there was no risk whatsoever in using excessive amounts of denture adhesive. Akin to toothpaste, many denture wearers have lapsed into the habit of using thick strips of cream to lock old or ill-fitting dentures into place—rather than the scattered droplets of product recommended by the manufacturer.

Overuse has led, for some consumers, to denture cream zinc poisoning. The latter is when there is an overabundance of zinc in the human body, which serves to foster an imbalance with copper levels and can lead to neuropathy. Several lawsuits have been launched by consumers who claim they were not informed of the risks by denture cream manufacturers.

There may also be a new wrinkle. The Windsor Star, a newspaper originating from the Ontario border city of Windsor across the river from Detroit, is reporting on the story of an elderly Canadian who fears he may have zinc poisoning from daily use of zinc-filled lozenges.

Rudy Papke was, at one time, very active in his retirement years. He took up windsurfing when he was 70 and kept at it until he was at least 86. That's when he started noticing, in 2009, numbness in his legs he could not explain. It forced him to give up his sport.

He had no idea what the problem could be until he picked up a newspaper while wintering in Florida last February and read about class-action lawsuits alleging denture adhesive zinc poisoning. While it was not revealed whether or not Papke used dentures, or what product he may have used, if any, the newspaper nonetheless reminded him about the zinc lozenges he had been taking for about three years.

On the advice of his doctor, Papke had been using the lozenges once per day, to sooth chronic bronchitis. He stopped immediately after he read about the denture poisoning, and wonders if the lozenges are to blame for his problems. While doctors had diagnosed nerve damage in his legs, they were at a loss to explain what might have caused it.

A dietician at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit told the Windsor Star that men require about 11 milligrams of zinc per day for optimum health. Any amount exceeding 40 milligrams could lead to trouble, according to Neil MacKenzie.

It was reported that the lozenges Papke consumed contain about five milligrams of zinc gluconate, which is not pure zinc and "it's unlikely that five milligrams could be causing a problem," added MacKenzie. The dietician noted however that there could be other factors, such as an individual's capacity for the efficient absorption of zinc.

Last year GlaxoSmithKline announced it would be removing zinc from Poli-Grip. However, the manufacturer of Fixodent was referenced by the Windsor Star as still reviewing its formulation for Fixodent denture cream…


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Posted by

I'm a denture wearer and am trying to find out how safely I can use Fixodent as it's the best holding adhesive. Is it safe to use if I use it once a day as shown? The other adhesives don't work very well, believe me I've tried them all and they musy be reapplied three or four times daily.
I'd appreciate your advice on this as I'm 80 yrs old and try to look my best.

Posted by

I have a PhD in Toxicology. I took a NBTY Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc supplement that destroyed my health in only 70 days. It contained zinc gluconate at the level of 2,070 mg per caplet. Calcium, magensium, cadmium (from zinc) and fluoride were also present at toxic levels. I found a study where very high levels of inorganic zinc were taken and there was no damage to nerves.

I am convinced it is the zinc gluconate that is causing the neuropathy and many of the other symptoms of zinc toxicity.
I had them all. It has been a year and I still need to use a walker. Zinc gluconate is absorbed into the blood very rapidly and should not be used for human consumption.


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