Denture Creams Zinc Poisoning. Many denture creams and adhesives – including Fixodent and Poligrip – contain zinc, which in excess, can result in copper deficiency and lead to serious neurological problems. A small amount of zinc is necessary for a balanced diet. However, being exposed to more than 10 times the amount of recommended zinc can result in zinc poisoning. Zinc poisoning can be deadly if not caught and treated quickly. In August 2008, the journal “Neurology” reported on four patients suffering from neuropathy and other neurological symptoms typical of zinc poisoning and copper deficiency. It was determined that excess use of dental creams could have been responsible for their symptoms.
Poligrip Fixodent Zinc Poisoning Lawsuit
Most people are not even aware that denture creams contain this potentially-dangerous ingredient. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require disclosure of the potential for denture cream zinc poisoning on these products. Our Fixodent Poligrip zinc poisoning nerve damage lawyers believe that the manufacturers of these products have failed to warn consumers of their toxic properties, and we intend to hold them accountable for this negligence.
Poligrip Fixodent Zinc Poisoning
Approximately 35 million Americans wear dentures, most of whom are elderly. Because of inadequate or non-existent warnings, the zinc poisoning from denture creams has the potential to become a major public health disaster. Patient advocates have pushed for greater disclosure about zinc hazards related to denture cream, but as of now, manufacturers have failed to provide adequate warnings.
Exposure to excess zinc can lead to unexplained weakness, numbness, loss of sensation or other nerve symptoms. Denture cream users who experience such symptoms should consult their doctor. Tests for zinc levels in the blood can determine quickly if denture cream hyperzincemia is to blame. If not detected early and treated, the effects of zinc poisoning can be permanent.
Severe zinc poisoning can lead to neuropathy, a condition that affects the nerves. Symptoms of neuropathy vary, but may include numbness or tingling in the feet, legs, hands, and/or arms; a reduction in strength or ability to move legs or feet, or arms and hands; unexplained pain in the extremities; a tendency to stumble or fall down; instability and lack of balance; or a change or decrease in walking stride.
The neurological problems caused by excess exposure to the zinc contained in dental creams can be devastating. In some cases, patients suffering from zinc poisoning have been confined to wheelchairs. While stopping the use of denture cream with zinc results in improvement of zinc levels in the blood of most patients, victims may only experience a mild improvement of their symptoms.
These injuries are preventable, but the manufacturers of denture creams have neglected to included stronger warnings about zinc poisoning on the products’ labels. The failure to do so has left many denture cream users disabled and unable to work, at a time when they may be facing significant medical bills. For that reason, our denture cream zinc poisoning lawyers will work hard to make sure our clients receive the compensation they deserve.
Report on Denture Creams and Zinc Poisoning
In August 2008, researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas reported on four patients who suffered from neuropathy and other neurological problems associated with zinc poisoning. All were denture cream users. The article, published in “Neurology”, noted that one tube of denture cream should last 3 to 10 weeks, but patients in the report were all using at least two tubes a week. Three had also lost their teeth at a relatively young age, meaning they had used “extremely large amounts of denture adhesive daily for years.”
The researchers tested the denture creams the four patients used, and found zinc concentrations between 17,000 and 34,000 micrograms per gram. Based on the patients’ denture cream use, the researchers estimated that they were exposed to at least 330 mg of zinc daily, far more than the recommended daily allowance of 8 mg for women and 11 mg for men. The National Academy of Sciences stated in 2001 that the largest daily tolerable zinc intake is 40 mg.
According to the University of Texas researchers, all of the patients had abnormally high levels of zinc in their blood, accompanied by abnormally low levels of copper. Normal blood levels of copper range from 0.75 to 1.45 micrograms per milliliter (mL), but levels for the patients in the report ranged from less than 0.1 to 0.23 micrograms per mL. The top normal number for zinc blood levels is 1.10 micrograms per mL, but patients had levels ranging from 1.36 to 4.28 micrograms per mL.
To treat symptoms, one patient took copper supplements but didn’t stop using denture cream. His copper levels improved, but his zinc levels remained too high and he showed no improvement in his neurological symptoms. A second patient, who took copper supplements and stopped using denture cream showed improvement in copper and zinc levels, but no improvement in neurological symptoms.
Another patient’s neurological symptoms included weakness in the hands and poor balance, while another had weakness in her arms and legs that made her wheelchair dependent, along with cognitive decline and urinary incontinence. These patients showed “mild neurological improvement” after they quit using denture cream and began taking copper supplements.
Individuals with ill-fitting dentures may use excess cream in order to secure their dentures. The University of Texas researchers recommended that patients facing this problem seek professional help, and possibly have their dentures replaced, in order to avoid using too much denture cream. Unfortunately, as our denture cream zinc poisoning lawyers have found, manufacturers are unwilling to disclose the amount or type of zinc in their products. This makes it impossible for consumers to assess the hazard of zinc poisoning caused by denture creams.