Zinc is a necessary mineral in moderate amounts, but many denture cream products, such as Poligrip and Fixodent, contain zinc that, in excess, can lead to serious zinc poisoning side effects, including neurological disorders.
The Neurology journal has reported on several denture cream users who have suffered from neuropathy and similar neurological problems related to zinc poisoning and copper depletion, possibly as a result of their use of denture creams. These patients were exposed to dangerous levels of zinc, sometimes hundreds of times greater than the recommended daily allowance.
The FDA currently does not require denture cream manufacturers or marketers to label their products with information about the possible side effects related to zinc poisoning. Side effects of zinc poisoning include: pain in the fingers and toes, loss of balance, loss of strength in arms and legs, and numbness / tingling in arms and hands. Some patients suffering from zinc poisoning have been confined to wheelchairs.
Should the FDA require denture cream brands like Fixodent and Poligrip to disclose the possible risks of building up toxic levels of zinc? How are denture cream users to know that they should have their zinc levels checked by a doctor if they are not made aware of this issue?