Two denture cream lawsuits have been filed in Tennessee against the makers of the popular adhesives Fixodent and Super Poligrip, seeking class action status on behalf of all residents of the state who used the products, as they could cause zinc poisoning, neuropathy and other debilitating injuries.
Nearly 35 million Americans use denture creams to help keep their dentures in place. Fixodent made by Proctor and Gamble, and Super Poligrip made by GlaxoSmithKline are among the most widely used brands of denture creams available.
The denture adhesive lawsuits allege that the products contain high levels of zinc, which is not adequately indicated or warned about on the warning label.
While small amounts of zinc are needed for a balanced and healthy diet, even normal use of the denture creams has been found to cause large amounts of zinc to be ingested or absorbed through the mouth and gums. This may cause high levels of zinc in the body, and a decrease in levels of copper, resulting in zinc poisoning, neuropathy or other neurological problems that may leave the user permanently disabled and reliant upon a walker or wheelchair.
Michael Lowe and Marlon J. Bond are the plaintiffs named in Super Poligrip lawsuit filed against GlaxoSmithKline, and Sandra Williams, Diane M. Bates and Retha Jones are the plaintiffs in Fixodent lawsuit filed against Procter & Gamble.
The complaints seeks class action status for other Tennessee residents who purchased and used these products in the state, asking the Court to require the companies to pay for testing, medical monitoring and treatment for zinc poisoning which may develop.
In August 2008, a study was conducted at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas on patients who had developed neuropathy and other problems associated with zinc poisoning. They had all used large amounts of denture creams like Fixodent and Poligrip.
The results, which were published in the journal Neurology, found zinc concentrations between 17,000 and 34,000 micrograms per gram in the denture creams used by the patients. They estimated that the patients had a daily exposure of about 330 mg of zinc, far higher than the recommended daily allowance of 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women.
The early symptoms of zinc poisoning may include dizziness, lethargy, numbness, paralysis, loss of sensation, tingling in the hands or feet, muscle weakness or unexplained pain.
The two class action suits filed in Tennessee join a growing number of denture adhesive lawsuits which have been filed or are being reviewed on behalf of individuals who have suffered problems following the use of Fixodent, Poligrip or other similar adhesive products.