Many denture creams, including Fixodent and Poligrip, contain large amounts of zinc, which deplete the body’s copper levels and lead to serious neurological problems, namely multiple sclerosis.
A small amount of zinc is necessary for a balanced diet, but being exposed to more than 10 times the recommended amount of zinc, as Fixodent and Poligrip users have been, results 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 depletion. It was determined that excess use of dental creams could have been responsible for their symptoms.
The FDA does not require the manufacturers of these creams to disclose the potential for zinc poisoning on their products, but it has now been found that these companies failed to warn consumers of their products’ toxic properties, with one case recently settled with a confidentiality agreement.
Most people are not even aware that denture creams contain this poisonous ingredient that can cause MS when loose dentures result in heavy use of denture cream.
Approximately 35 million Americans, most of whom are elderly, wear dentures. Because of inadequate or non-existent warnings, the zinc poisoning from denture creams has the potential to become a major public health disaster. Health advocates have pushed for greater disclosures 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 damage, especially to the myelin sheath, i.e. multiple sclerosis. Denture cream users who experience such symptoms should consult their doctor. Tests for zinc levels in the blood immediately to determine quickly if a zinc overdose is to blame, change to a non-zinc denture cream and take a copper supplement to bring depleted copper levels to normal, which will stop the progress of neurological damage.
If not detected early and treated, the effects of zinc poisoning can be permanent. Severe zinc poisoning can lead to multiple sclerosis with permanent destruction of the myelin sheath and the ability of nerves to provide conduction; early signs are 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 depressed copper levels in the blood of most patients, the nerve damage is permanent.
These injuries are preventable, but the manufacturers of dental creams have refused to use alternative materials in all denture products and have not provided strong 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.
If you or a loved one has used a denture cream such as Poligrip or Fixodent and have suffered from any neurological problems contact us now for a free, private consultation. Your time may be short to collect compensatory or punitive damages for your serious injuries. Knowledge is power. We are here to help.
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