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Friday, January 15, 2010

Denture Cream Hazard: Zinc Poisoning

Reports are coming in all over the country about denture wearers that are experiencing a rather debilitating illness connected to the use of denture adhesive creams that contain zinc.

Procter & Gamble issued a statement concerning their Fixodent product that mentions the fact that it contains a small amount of zinc that helps dentures stay securely in place.

The company maintains that the amount of zinc in their product is safe to users. The problem seems to lie in the amount of adhesive cream that users claim is necessary for it to work properly.

The packaging for Fixodent recommends that only a few drops are to be used, however, a recent study of denture adhesive users was conducted and it was revealed that most patients were feeling the necessity to use a great deal more than is recommended.

This larger amount used on a regular basis contributes to zinc poisoning in these patients. This study, published in the 2008 Journal of Neurology stated that the concerns were over excessive use of denture cream over a long period of time.

Symptoms of zinc poisoning can be identified by numbness and tingling in hands and feet, general weakness or feelings of imbalance. Zinc poisoning causes a drastic drop in the normal amounts of copper within the body resulting in neurological damage.

Over a dozen patients from across the country that have been suffering from these symptoms, have been tested and showed higher than normal concentrations of zinc in their bloodstream and all of them were denture adhesive cream users.

The FDA does not require denture adhesive cream manufacturers to list the ingredients on their packaging, but the research study mentioned earlier was able to determine that zinc was an active ingredient in the creams in question.

GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Super Poligrip adhesive cream is facing some similar complaints from users and both companies are having to deal with lawsuits from patients who are suffering with possibly chronic conditions for a long time to come because they failed to list any warnings regarding excessive use of their denture adhesive cream products.

Proctor & Gamble enjoyed $79 billion in net sales this past year. If you or someone you care about has been fitted with dentures that do not fit well and has used either Fixodent or Super Poligrip excessively that has resulted in numbness, tingling, weakness or imbalance, seek medical help.

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