Zinc Denture Cream Risk Statement Issued by American Dental Association

The American Dental Association (ADA) indicates that it is continuing to monitor issues surrounding problems with zinc denture cream, which has been linked with serious and debilitating injuries for some users.

In a statement issued February 19, the ADA points out that a number of recent case reports in scientific literature have described patients with ill-fitting dentures who suffered neurological and hematological problems after using excessive amounts of denture cream with zinc to keep their dentures in place. The ADA notes that while more information is needed in studies to show a causal relationship, swallowing zinc in denture creams can lead to low blood copper levels and neurological damage from zinc poisoning.

Last month GlaxoSmithKline, which manufactures Super Poligrip denture adhesive, announced that it is discontinuing all of its zinc-based denture creams, including Super Poligrip Original, Ultra Fresh and Extra Care. The products will be replaced with zinc free creams in the near future, the company has said. However, Proctor & Gamble, which manufactures Fixodent with zinc, has not indicated any plans to reformulate their product.

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The ADA warned denture wearers to see their dentists if their dentures do not fit well, as studies indicate that the problems are linked particularly to patients who have ill-fitting dentures and use excessive amounts of denture cream with zinc.

Increased levels of zinc in the body can deplete copper levels, causing a condition known as hypocupremia, which is known to increase the risk of significant neurological problems that can leave users with permanent and debilitating physical injuries. Although the recommended daily allowance of zinc is 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women, with 40 mg being the maximum amount of zinc that can be safely tolerated, some denture creams have been found to expose users to levels as high as 330 mg per day.

Zinc is believed to help with the adhesive properties of the denture creams. However, until recently neither GlaxoSmithKline or Proctor and Gamble had alerted users that zinc was an ingredient in their products.

A growing number of Super Poligrip lawsuits and Fixodent lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers for failing to adequately warn about the dangers of zinc in denture cream products. All federal denture cream lawsuits have been centralized in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) for coordinated pretrial litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.


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