Yes, I heard it first on a medical television show, denture creams causing zinc poisoning. Can denture creams cause paralysis, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness and other neurological issues? Can zinc poisoning cause neuropathy? The general public may not realize that some of their denture creams do contain zinc. It is the long term, chronic and excessive use of the creams that may have lead to the development of neurological symptoms.
Zinc Poisoning from Denture adhesives:
Zinc is found in the rust prevention coatings of paints, vitamins, zinc oxides, zinc acetate and zinc sulfate. Zinc poisoning usually results from misuse of paints, dyes and ointments, but people did not realize that their denture cream also can poison them. Individuals with ill fitting dentures may have neurological problems from an excessive use of the denture adhesives. In 2008 ‘Neurology’ Journal published a report on denture creams and the risk of zinc exposure. People were reporting using 2 tubes a week for poorly fitting dentures. This is not the recommended usage, people developed neuropathy or other neurological symptoms. A regular tube of denture cream should last 3 to 10 weeks. ‘Glaxo Smith Kline’ published a consumer advisory on February 18, 2010, warning about a potential health risk associated with long-term, excessive use of GSK’s denture adhesives that contain zinc.
Symptoms of Zinc Poisoning
Symptoms of zinc poisoning include numbness and tingling in the hands, loss of sensation or unexplained pain and muscle weakness in legs and arms, a metallic taste in the mouth, and other neurological programs that cause difficulty with walking and balance. Neuropathy is a condition that affects the nerves and can cause the numbness or tingling of extremities with the reduced inability to walk. Severe zinc poisoning reactions require immediate medical help and a call to your poison control center.
Users of dental adhesive creams should have properly fitting dentures and follow the recommended dosage of denture cream found on their packages.
Medline Plus: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002570.htm
Glaxo Smith Kline: Consumer Advisory (2/18/10): http://www.gsk.com/media/consumer-advisories/US.pdf