Users of Fixodent, Other Denture Creams Should be Wary of Zinc

Because <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/Fixodent-Denture-Cream">Fixodent and other denture creams contain zinc, denture wearers are being advised to pay attention to the amount of zinc they consume. According to an article published in the March/April 2011 issue of “General Dentistry,” the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), excess intake of zinc could pose a potential health hazard.

We’ve long reported on the <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/Denture-Cream-Zinc-Poisoning">hazards of zinc-containing denture creams like Fixodent. In August 2008, a study in the peer reviewed journal “Neurology” reported on four patients suffering from neuropathy and other neurological symptoms typical of zinc poisoning and copper depletion (a consequence of zinc poisoning.) The article specifically linked excessive exposure to zinc in denture cream to “profound neurologic disease” in the patients reviewed.

According to the “General Dentistry” article, one tube of denture cream should last three to 10 weeks with daily use. Denture wearers should only use a thin film or a series of dots across the denture surface to ensure they are not using too much. Because people with ill fitting dentures are most likely to overuse products like Fixodent, the article says denture wearers should have a dentist evaluate fit every six months.

“An ill-fitting denture is one reason that a patient could be overusing adhesive,” AGD spokesperson Manuel A. Cordero, DDS, MAGD said in a statement. “With age, your mouth will continue to change as the bone under your denture shrinks or recedes. If the denture doesn’t fit correctly, the patient tends to use more adhesive to try to get the denture to stay in place.”

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has not issued a consumer warning regarding the risk of zinc poisoning from Fixodent and other dentures creams. However, in a February 23 letter to denture cream makers, the FDA recommended that they take actions to mitigate the risks of denture cream zinc poisoning, including possibly replacing zinc with a safer ingredient.

As we’ve reported previously, one denture cream manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, moved over a year ago to remove zinc from three of its Super Poligrip products, citing reports of neurological injuries possibly associated to excessive exposure to zinc in the denture creams. The products have since been reformulated to be zinc-free.

Procter & Gamble, the maker of Fixodent, did alter its label last year to include a caution about overuse of the product. But Fixodent is still made with zinc.

Since the risks of denture cream zinc poisoning from products like Fixodent have become better known, scores of people have sued the makers of Super Poligrip and Fixodent denture creams over their neurological injuries. Those denture cream zinc poisoning lawsuits are now part of a multidistrict litigation in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division (MDL No. 2051). The first trials in that litigation are expected to begin this year.

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