Monday, February 28, 2011

Denture Adhesives Draw Food and Drug Administration Attention

This controversy has been going on for a while now but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a letter.

Federal regulators are calling on Proctor & Gamble, and other manufacturers of denture adhesive products, to remove zinc from their denture cream due to a risk of zinc poisoning, which could cause users to suffer severe neurological injury. 

In an FDA letter to all denture adhesive manufacturers sent out last week, the agency indicates that it has seen a growing number of reports of zinc poisoning from denture cream products, such as Fixodent and Super Poligrip.

The agency is calling on manufacturers to take a number of steps to remedy the denture adhesive problems, including the removal of zinc from the products or significant label changes to warn consumers.

According to the FDA, research indicates that the side effects of denture cream with zinc can include zinc toxicity and neurological damage, including symptoms of myeloneuropathy of the extremities and blood dyscrasias.

Myeloneuropathy is neurological damage often caused by copper deficiency. It can manifest as tremors and weakness in the extremities and difficulty walking. Blood dyscrasia is a catch-all term for unspecified blood disorders, usually due to abnormal material in the blood.

The FDA letter says that those most at risk include people who use excessive amounts of denture cream to address ill-fitting dentures.

The two primary manufacturers of denture adhesive with zinc in the United States are Proctor & Gamble, which makes Fixodent, and GlaxoSmithKline, which makes Super Poligrip.

GlaxoSmithKline already agreed to reformulate Super Poligrip to remove zinc last year. However, Proctor & Gamble has denied that zinc in their denture cream products is causing any problems, and continues to sell Fixodent denture adhesive with zinc.

As I have said before, it is probably best to avoid Fixodent and/or Supoer Polygrip or any other denture adhesive that contains zinc. However, the best approach is to have a good fitting denture that does not require any adhesive in the first place.

Or, keep your natural teeth for your lifetime.


Video: Zinc in Denture Creams Implicated in Neurological Disease

Denture Cream and Zinc Toxicity?

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