Denture Cream and Zinc Poisoning
Denture cream users, you may have noticed news stories concerning the toxic effects of excessive amounts of zinc contained in denture adhesive creams. If you missed some of the background information, here are some facts you may want to consider if you use the products.
Zinc is a dietary nutrient that everyone needs for good health. Most people consume enough zinc-rich foods to meet their daily dietary needs. However, ingesting more zinc than you need may wreak havoc on your body, sometimes irreversibly.
Various formulations of Denture Creams such as Poligrip and Fixodent contain high levels of zinc, often as much as 10 times the recommended daily allowance for adults. Too much zinc interacts with blood levels of copper and lead, leading to neurological problems, especially neuropathy, a loss of nerve function. Additional body systems affected by zinc poisoning are the urinary and gastrointestinal tracts.
Common symptoms of zinc poisoning include: Vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and nausea when the gastrointestinal tract; urine retention and low blood pressure with urinary tract involvement; and jaundice, seizures, joint pain, a metallic taste in the mouth, fever, and coughing when zinc affects other organs. Neuropathy makes itself know through weakness, numbness, pain and tingling in the hands and feet, which often lead to balance and coordination problems.
How do people ingest enough zinc to poison themselves this way? If people don’t have a set of good-fitting dentures, they often rely on products like Fixodent and Polygrip to keep their dentures in place. They sometimes require frequent applications of the fixatives in order to enjoy a comfortable chewing experience while eating.
To date, denture fixative cream manufacturers are not required by the Food and Drug Administration to list the amount of zinc contained in their formulations. Consequently, the consumer has no idea how much zinc he or she may be exposed to before showing symptoms of poisoning.
Several lawsuits have been filed regarding the adverse effects of these denture products. One of the more recent ones filed in March 2009 showed that although the plaintiff’s blood copper levels returned to normal after she stopped using the products, her neurological symptoms were permanent.
Since the findings, it has been proposed that Denture Creams such as Fixodent, Polygrip, and other manufacturers be required by law to list the amount of zinc contained in their products. Legislative action is being formulated but passage of a law may be several months to a couple of years in the future.
In the meantime, what can denture wearers do to protect themselves? First, if you have any of the zinc poisoning symptoms listed above, make an appointment with your doctor to have your blood levels checked. If you don’t have any symptoms and are using fixatives, make an appointment with your dental care provider to see about receiving a better-fitting set of dentures.
Individuals that have suffered Zinc poisoning and neuropathy or other serious health problems after extended use denture cream should contact an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer for an immediate consultation. Those that have become the victims of Denture Cream injuries and side effects may be entitled to monetary compensation for their medical bills and pain and suffering. At LaBovick Law Group, our skilled and knowledgeable product liability lawyer will review each individual’s case, and can provide the individual with the expert legal counsel and guidance needed to successfully negotiate or litigate their personal injury case.