Too much zinc can give you a copper deficiency. Zinc pulls out the copper in your body. And zinc might be hidden in places you’d rarely suspect — your denture glue. If you use denture glue that doesn’t say on the box that it does not contain zinc, you could be getting such a high dose of zinc from your denture glue that it may be toxic. The problem is referred to as zinc toxicity.
And the zinc may have come from excessive use of some types of denture adhesives that contained zinc at that time. Various types of denture adhesives still contain zinc, and some brands took out the zinc.
The original story from the Baltimore Sun by Frank D. Roylance was reprinted in the daily newspaper, the Sacramento Bee on April 2, 2011. See the article, FDA expands probe into denture paste poisoning » dentapress.
Also in another article, a lawsuit was filed against denture adhesive maker GlaxoSmithKline by a Butler County woman who claims that the company’s product left her permanently disabled. [Her attorney] said harmful levels of zinc in Super Poligrip caused his client, a 41-year-old woman (named in the article) to suffer a copper imbalance.
The copper deficiency forced the woman to leave her job and confined her to a wheelchair for a while, according to Peirce. You can read further details about this issue in the article, ABC Pittsburgh – Lawsuit: Super Poligrip User Became Permanently Disabled, and also see the article, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Woman Sues Over Damage From Polygrip.
Yet some types of balance problems not helped by certain exercise classes might be due to excessive zinc from places most people wouldn’t associate with overdosing on zinc. The individual doesn’t have to be taking too many zinc supplements, either. The source of the zinc might be in the person’s excessive use of denture adhesive.
You might be surprised to find out that certain brands of denture glue can cause health problems if they contain too much zinc. Check out the April 2, 2011 news article, “Overuse Of Denture Cream Adhesive May Lead To Zinc Overdose.” Also see an earlier article, “Nerve Damage from Denture Adhesive OverUse – The Blogodontist.”
Preliminary studies link the zinc in some types of denture adhesives to neurological damage and blood abnormalities among patients who overuse the denture glue because their dentures do not fit well. As people age, sometimes the bone changes, is lost through osteoporosis issues, may change due to medications, or the bone withdraws and dentures become too loose.
Instead of going back to the dentist to get a new fitting, people who can’t afford dental care, are underinsured or uninsured, or who don’t want to spend more money on new dentures as their bone density changes, may overuse the dental adhesive. At the University of Maryland Dental School, the scientific literature is being reviewed.
Dentists need to warn their patients who use denture glues/adhesives which brands don’t contain zinc and which brands do contain zinc. The problem with the zinc starts when the patient overuses the denture glue beyond the recommended amount in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you check out the reports from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you’ll see warnings that began to appear at least three years ago. The issue came up when users of denture glue began complaining about symptoms consistent with zinc toxicity.
Will the manufacturers revise their labeling? If the product contains zinc, should the manufacturer replace it with ingredients that do not contain zinc?
The link between excessive use of dental adhesives and certain health problems that resemble zinc toxicity from overuse is not yet proved, according to the American Dental Association. What some of the experts think may be happening is that people are using more of the denture glue because their dentures aren’t fitting right.
The FDA published a statement telling patients to see their dentists and get new dentures that do fit. As people age, their bones may change and false teeth can become too loose.
If you are using a lot of denture adhesive that contains zinc and have symptoms of zinc toxicity where include balance problems, weakness, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet or similar problems that can’t be helped by exercise in increasing your ability to balance, check out your zinc levels. Is there too much zinc in your cells or blood?
You could get tested for zinc toxicity. Or your balance problems could be due to many other causes.
If you want a brand of denture adhesive that doesn’t use zinc, you might take a look at brands such as Glaxo Smith Kline’s Super Poligrip. In 2010 the manufacturer stopped using zin in its original Ultra Fresh and Extra Care varities of denture glue.
The reason why manufacturers used zinc originally was because zinc made the denture glue stick better. The adhesive properties were enhanced by the zinc. Then two years ago, the manufacturer replaced the zinc ingredient with salt-based ingredients, for example a combination of calcium, sodium, and cellulose gum. So check the date on your denture glue to see whether it was manufactured after the manufacturer replaced zinc with salt-based ingredients, calcium, cellulose gum or a combination of those.
You can imagine what happens when an individual, especially an older person taking multivitamins containing the usual recommended daily allowance of zinc also takes more zinc along with selenium. Some people take zinc to help certain prostate problems. Others get zinc zinc from foods such as oysters.
On top of the zinc you get from food and/or supplements, you might be overusing the brands of denture glue that still contain zinc. Then what if you take another type of supplement or vitamin that is supposed to give you a balance of 15 mg of zinc and 1 mg of copper? From all those other sources, the zinc toxicity builds up.
On top of that the denture adhesive could be overused for ill-fitting dentures. And pretty soon you have a participant at a class in Tai Chi who is trying to improve his or her balance and yet gets worse.
So be aware, even if the link isn’t yet proven. People may overuse a product without realizing how much zinc is in their adhesive. They could be swallowing all that zinc because their dentures aren’t a good fit in the first place. If you know someone who wears dentures, pass this information along. This also applies to people who take too many vitamins in a day that contain zinc along with other ingredients.
Fitness trainers often wonder why so many seniors in their local classes aren’t improving their ability to keep their balance. Most large US cities have numerous classes in Tai Chi at the various senior centers and even at some natural food store conference rooms, and Tai Chi for seniors or chair Yoga also is offered at some lifelong learning classes at universities and community centers for those active in retirement.
For further information see, Zinc toxicity – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. And yes, there are lawyers who specialize in zinc toxicity. See the site, Denture Cream Lawyers, “specializing In zinc poisoning caused by denture cream.”
The issue now is between the FDA urging manufacturers to revise labeling and the American Dental Association who say that link is not yet proved. Check out the research and news as well as what’s on the ingredient labels of your denture glue.