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The elderly and even younger people with dental work such as bridges, count on their denture cream to keep their teeth in place. They did not expect, however, to face potentially serious neurological problems as a result of zinc buildup in the body because of the very cream they count on each day to help them eat and speak.

However, this is what has happened—and now consumers are alleging that denture cream, manufactured by such companies as GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Procter & Gamble Co., and the companies’ subsidiaries, caused enough of a zinc buildup in consumers’ bodies to cause neurological damage.

Long-term usage of the product leads to neurological damage because copper and zinc compete to bind to receptors in the brain and the body expels the copper that isn’t absorbed. Procter and Gamble released a statement indicating that all of their denture creams undergo rigorous scientific safety evaluations and that the amount of zinc a consumer could ingest from the cream is equal to the amount in six ounces of beef. GlaxoSmithKline has not commented on the allegations.

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