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Several denture creams have recently been linked to zinc poisoning. The creams, Fixodent and Super Poligrip, which are used to keep dentures in place, contain high levels of the mineral zinc. Zinc plays a vital role in the body’s immune system, and is needed for proper cell division, cell growth, wound healing, and for the senses of smell and taste. However, overexposure to the mineral can cause serious health complications. Symptoms of zinc poisoning include:

  • weakness
  • numbness of limbs
  • loss of sensation
  • nausea and vomiting
  • skin reactions
  • fever
  • nerve damage
  • neuropathy
  • copper deficiency leading to death

With over 35 million denture wearers in the United States alone, the potential for poisoning is great. Fixodent and Super Poligrip are two of the most popular denture creams, particularly because they cater to individuals with poor fitting dentures. Unfortunately, this also means these people apply more of the cream to make sure their dentures stick properly. This leads to the body absorbing more of the mineral through the gums and ingestion, causing toxic overdoses.

Most denture wearers are unaware of the risks associated with the creams because the Food and Drug Administration does not require denture manufacturers to disclose health risks on denture cream labels. In fact, Fixodent does not even list zinc as an ingredient. Several lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers as a result. To help prevent zinc poisoning, denture users should see their dental provider for new dentures instead of using extra cream to make ill-fitting dentures fit. If you are a denture cream user and experience any of the symptoms above, contact your health provider immediately.

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