Thursday, February 10, 2011

Video: Zinc in Denture Creams Implicated in Neurological Disease

ABC Good Morning America yesterday

The best approach is to have excellent fitting dentures so that you don't need denture creams. 

From the American Dental Association:

Millions of people use denture cream (also known as denture adhesive). Some, but not all, denture creams contain zinc. A few recent case reports in the scientific literature indicate a possible association between excessive use of zinc-containing denture creams and neurological and hematological problems.

In each situation, the patients had ill-fitting dentures and reported using excessive amounts of denture cream with zinc for years. Several people reported using two or more tubes of denture cream per week for years, when one tube would normally last for 3-10 weeks, when used as directed.

The authors theorize that the patients probably swallowed excess denture cream, and that over years of use, zinc may have built up in these individual’s bodies. It is well documented that swallowing excessive amounts of zinc can raise blood levels of zinc which can lead to lower blood levels of copper. The lower blood level of copper can then lead to neurological and hematological problems.

More information is needed to determine if there is a cause and effect relationship. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not issued an advisory or recall of zinc-containing denture creams at this time. As of Feb. 19, 2010, Glaxo Smith Kline, a major manufacturer of denture cream, voluntarily decided, as a precautionary measure, to stop using zinc in the following denture cream brands: Super Poligrip Original, Super Poligrip Ultra Fresh and Super Poligrip Extra Care.

The ADA advises denture wearers to see their dentist if their dentures do not fit well or if they have questions about the use of dental cream. Dental examinations and appropriate care can reduce the need for denture adhesive products.

But, while there is scientific and legal ambiguity as to the causation of neurologic disease, it might be best to stay away from these products.

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