More than two dozen denture cream lawsuits from 11 states have been consolidated in a Multidistrict Litigation in Federal court in Miami, Florida. According to the Associated Press, the lawsuits allege that zinc in products like Poligrip and Fixodent caused plaintiffs to suffer a serious copper deficiency which in turn lead to neurological problems.
As we’ve reported previously, a small amount of zinc is necessary for a balanced diet. However, exposure to too much zinc can lead to copper depletion. According to the Associated Press, copper deficiency can lead to symptoms like weakness and numbness in arms and legs; difficulty walking and loss of balance; and even cognitive or memory impairment.
These types of problems were seen in four patients detailed in a 2008 article that appeared in the journal, “Neurology.” All of the patients had been using excessive amounts of denture cream for many years. It was determined that exposure to zinc in denture cream could have been responsible for their symptoms. The authors of the article called for further study of the issue.
According to the Associated Press, a tube of denture cream should last around 10 weeks. But many people who have suspected cases of denture cream poisoning used excessive amounts of the products to keep loose fitting dentures in place. The American Dental Association advises against the overuse of denture adhesives to correct fit problems
Both GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Poligrip, and Proctor & Gamble, the maker of Fixodent, claim their products are safe if used correctly. But lawsuits filed by alleged victims of denture cream poisoning claim the makers of these products did not provide adequate warnings about their potential dangers and that no corrective steps were taken, the Associated Press said.
Currently, 25 denture cream poisoning lawsuits are pending in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida. But according to an attorney representing victims, more are likely to be filed. A hearing in the litigation is scheduled for next month, the Associated Press said.