FDA: Zinc in Denture Cream May Be Risky

The Food and Drug Administration suggested that manufacturers consider taking zinc out of denture cream, following reports of neurological problems that might be associated with zinc poisoning.

Zinc is a mineral that is naturally present in some foods, available as a dietary supplement and added to certain products. Zinc has been added to denture cream to boost its adhesive properties. The FDA said in a Feb. 23 letter sent to denture-adhesive manufacturers that it's received "numerous reports of adverse events related to the use of denture creams" consistent with zinc toxicity.

Symptoms of zinc toxicity include nerve damage or numbness in the extremities and blood disorders. High doses of zinc can cause a copper deficiency, which studies have shown can cause nerve damage. The FDA said that zinc overexposure "maybe be a contributing factor in these adverse events."

Questions about possible neurological damage from zinc poisoning have spurred dozens of lawsuits against Glaxo and Procter & Gamble Co., which makes Fixodent.

A P&G spokeswoman said, "we take the FDA's issued letter very seriously," adding that "providing safe products for consumers is our number one priority."

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