UPDATED 6 May
The issue of toxicity in denture cream products recently met with a critical mass when Good Morning America discussed this issue on a very recent program.
You can find that information here...
Originally posted 17 April
Health Considerations of Consumer Products: Zinc and other Issues with Denture Adhesive Creams
Several years ago complaints began to surface regarding the use of dental adhesives and the development of neuropathy as an adverse effect of using denture adhesive creams.
The reports came from people who were thought to be suffering with hypocupremia (copper deficiency) and hyperzincemia (excess zinc) which may have resulted from chronic excessive use of denture adhesive creams. Most recently, denture cream lawsuits are being investigated regarding adhesive creams such as Super Poligrip and Fixodent. There are, however, other health problems that may be associated with ingredients found in denture adhesive creams.
According to available ingredient information on popular dental adhesives they may include some or all of the following ingredients: Polymethylvinylether Maleic Acid Calcium-Zinc Salt, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Cellulose Gum, Silicon Dioxide, Sodium Saccharin, Flavor, Red 27 Aluminum Lake and Yellow 6 Aluminum Lake. Combinations of this group of chemicals raise concern.
Consumers are well advised to read product labels carefully to evaluate if any ingredient may lead to an adverse event.
Both Calcium and Zinc are essential minerals. Calcium is most commonly known to be stored in bone and teeth, and is important to skeletal and muscle health. One of many of zinc’s functions is in the health of the immune system and assisting vitamin A use in forming bone and teeth.
Copper is also an essential mineral, however in sufficient amounts, copper can be poisonous and even fatal. Zinc may act to cause heavy metal poisoning similar to lead when the body stores excess amounts. Zinc and copper are antagonists to each other; as one rises in the blood, the other decreases. Excessive zinc has been linked to neuropathy.
Unidentified is “Flavor” and it is well established that this category may include MSG, a flavor enhancer and neuro-excitotoxic substance. Synthetic flavorings may be petroleum based. Mineral oil and petrolatum are petroleum based ingredients. Petroleum based products have been reported to effect lung function and other mucous membrane function in the gastrointestinal tract.
Cellulose gum is often used either as a bulking agent, an emulsifier, stabilizer and thickener. It is known chemically as Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose.
Silicon Dioxide is a commonly used ingredient often used as a flow agent or hydration factor. Since it takes on water, extended exposures may cause drying of the skin or other tissue, and may be an abrasive when used in a hydrated form. It is known as a gastrointestinal irritant and may be connected with GI obstructions.
Fluoride is known to react with silicon dioxide to form hexafluorosilicic acid which is considered to be corrosive and may cause fluoride poisoning or swelling of lung tissue. Fluoride is also considered to be a thyroid suppressive substance with many health risks. Impaired thyroid function may be associated with immune suppression and other health concerns.
In addition, silicon dioxide reacts chemically with zinc salts.
Sodium saccharin has a controversial history as an artificial sweetener. This substance is banned in many countries, including Canada, but was allowed in the United States as long as the product is labeled to contain saccharin which may increase the risk of cancer. In 2000 the labeling requirement was discontinued by Congress. Older research showed an increase risk of bladder cancer when using saccharin.
Both Red 27 and Yellow 6 are Aluminum Lake colorings. Some research has proposed that aluminum is a factor in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. These are naphthalene-azo dyes.
The gum like paste that forms the base material for these adhesive creams is Polymethylvinylether Maleic Acid (PVM/MA). This is a synthetic polymer used as a film forming or thickening agent. Ingestion of excessive amounts of these substances may cause nausea, abdominal pain, burning sensations, vomiting or diarrhea. They may also be drying to skin.
Authors of a study at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
involving people using dental creams found very large and varied amounts of zinc concentrations in the products. They concluded that use of the creams in excessive and chronic use patterns may result in trace element imbalance and serious neurologic disease.
Should you have questions about using these products, contact your dental or other health care provider.
This article is part of a consumer health education series written by Gayle Eversole, DHom, PhD, MH, NP, ND, of Creating Health Institute, in collaboration with Bernstein Liebhard, LLP, who sponsors the consumer advocate website, www.ConsumerInjuryLawyers.com.
You can follow this link to read more about a denture cream lawsuit, Fixodent lawsuit or Poligrip lawsuit. 12/11/08