Denture Adhesive Creams, such as Fixodent, Poligrip and Super PoliGrip, contain the mineral Zinc. Small amounts of Zinc are necessary for a healthy and balanced diet but can cause Copper depletion and Zinc poisoning if used in large amounts over extended periods of time. The problem can be particularly acute for people who use a lot of denture cream, such as people who have poorly fitting dentures.
Denture adhesive cream manufacturers, including Procter & Gamble and GlaxoSmithKline, do not disclose the potential health risks of denture adhesive cream use. As a result, many of the more than 35 million Americans who wear dentures, are unaware of the link between denture adhesive creams and Neuropathy.
Zinc Poisoning and Neuropathy
Toxic Zinc exposure can lead to unexplained weakness, numbness, and loss of sensation. Severe Zinc Poisoning can cause Neuropathy. Neuropathy is a condition that affects the nerves.
Neuropathy symptoms include: numbness or tingling in the extremities loss of ability to move legs, feet, arms, or hands unexplained pain in the extremities poor balance a decreased walking stride.
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GlaxSmithKline removes zinc from Poligrip and settles legal claims
According to a report on Reuters.com the maker of Poligrip products, GlaxoSmithKline, has paid at least $120 million to settle claims that allege the denture cream causes or caused neurological disorders. The alleged neurological disorders are believed to be linked to zinc, which was an ingredient in Poligrip products.
In February, 2011, following the release of research that showed a causal link between some neurological problems such as nerve damage, and the zinc found in denture adhesives, GSK agreed to remove the zinc from its denture cream products. Zinc, which increases adhesion, was used in Super Poligrip Original, Ultra Fresh and Extra Care products. Reportedly, during the past nine months, GSK has settled some 100 lawsuits filed over this issue, specifically that GSK failed to warn consumers about Poligrip's potential health issues related to zinc. The settlements may have averaged $1 million per claim.
GSK has also reportedly stated that in 2011 it has "reached agreements in principle to settle the vast majority of the current cases.” (Reuters.com)
Toxic zinc exposure can lead to serious health issues. Severe zinc poisoning can cause neuropathy. Neuropathy is a condition that affects the nerves. Neuropathy symptoms include numbness or tingling in the extremities, loss of ability to move legs, feet, arms, or hands unexplained pain in the extremities, poor balance, and difficulties walking.
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