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Recent Removal of some Denture Creams from Market

Approximately 1 out of every 10 denture wearers uses a denture cream or adhesive. Many of these products contain zinc to help improve their holding power. Recent case reports in people who have used excessive amounts of denture creams containing zinc for long periods of time are showing an increased risk of zinc toxicity. Zinc toxicity can present itself as numbness, tiredness, weakness, difficulty with balance or walking, or anemia. Due to this hazardous potential many manufacturers have removed the zinc-containing denture adhesives from the market and replaced them with zinc-free versions.

The manufacturer of Poligrip has voluntarily changed their products to now contain zinc-free versions. When shopping for a denture adhesive look for the packaging to say zinc-free. If it does not say zinc-free then it still may have zinc in the product. Because the FDA considers denture adhesives to be a medical device, manufacturers do not have to list every ingredient that the product contains. For example, Fixodent has one zinc-free formulation. The other products made by Fixodent contain less than 4% zinc, which is nearly half of what the old Poligrip products contained.

If you have been using a denture cream that contains zinc there is no need to worry as long as you have been using it according to the package directions. Realistically, one 68 gram tube should last 8 to 10 weeks. Dr. McCargar at Scottsdale Dental Arts recommends “dabbing a small amount of cream onto the denture to avoid oozing. You should only apply the adhesive once per day. A good rule of thumb to assure that you are not applying too much is the amount that is squeezed out of the tube should not be longer than the distance between the second joint in your finger and your fingertip.” If your denture does not fit properly and you find yourself using more than this amount, then consult with your dentist about getting it properly adjusted. If you continue to use excessive amounts of denture cream containing zinc it is possible to experience the symptoms of zinc toxicity in which case you should contact your doctor right away.