The tooth about zinc: What every denture wearer needs to know

Mar 04, 2011

From its involvement in a healthy immune system to its role in cell growth, zinc is an essential mineral for the human body. Zinc deficiency is a worldwide problem that affects approximately 4 million people in the U.S. alone.

Consumed naturally in the human diet, zinc can be found in food sources, such as beef, yogurt, eggs, and fish. Furthermore, zinc is widely used in , specifically denture adhesives.

However, as with any herb, vitamin, or mineral, excess intake of zinc could pose a potential health hazard. Denture wearers are advised to pay special attention to the amount of zinc they consume, according to an article published in the March/April 2011 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

"If a patient wears dentures, it is essential that he or she follows the instructions and recommended dosages on the product label," advises J. A. von Fraunhofer, MSc, PhD, co-author of the article. "Many times, patients will overuse the adhesive and, although it happens rarely, they can ingest toxic levels of zinc, with adverse neurologic effects."

The optimal use of denture adhesive involves placing a thin film or a series of dots across the denture surface, which will ensure that a patient is not overusing the adhesive. A single tube should last three to 10 weeks with daily use, although actual usage depends on the number of applications per day.

"An ill-fitting denture is one reason that a patient could be overusing adhesive," says AGD spokesperson Manuel A. Cordero, DDS, MAGD. "With age, your mouth will continue to change as the bone under your denture shrinks or recedes. If the denture doesn't fit correctly, the patient tends to use more adhesive to try to get the denture to stay in place."

To maintain a proper fit over time, patients should be evaluated by a dentist every six months.

"Abusing denture adhesive could cause nausea, stomachache, and mouth irritation," says Dr. Cordero. "Over time, toxic levels of could cause a copper deficiency, which has been linked to neurological damage."

Currently, the FDA has issued no warnings regarding the use of denture adhesives, but patients should limit their usage of adhesive in accordance with the manufacturers' instructions and speak with their dentist if they have additional questions or concerns.

Explore further: Abandoned asbestos mines still a hazard in India

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Glaxo to remove zinc from denture cream

Feb 18, 2010

(AP) -- GlaxoSmithKline said Thursday it will remove zinc from its denture cream, following reports that excessive use over many years can cause neurological damage and blood problems in consumers.

New process could improve dental restoration procedures

Aug 10, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Oral surgeons may one day have an easier, less costly approach to one important aspect of dental restoration, thanks to a newly patented process developed by researchers at Missouri University of Science ...

Zinc switches found in plants

Jun 03, 2010

Geneticists have discovered two gene switches in plants which enable better zinc intake. This paves the way for plant breeders to reduce malnutrition.

Childhood diarrhea: Treat with zinc over 6 months of age

Jul 16, 2008

Zinc supplementation benefits children suffering from diarrhoea in developing countries, but only in infants over six months old, Cochrane Researchers have found. Their study supports World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines ...

Recommended for you

Abandoned asbestos mines still a hazard in India

2 hours ago

Asbestos waste spills in a gray gash down the flank of a lush green hill above tribal villages in eastern India. Three decades after the mines were abandoned, nothing has been done to remove the enormous, ...

Evidence plays limited role in OTC decision making

15 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For pharmacy graduates and tutors, evidence seems to play a limited role in over-the-counter decision making, according to a study published online Dec. 11 in the Journal of Evaluation in Cl ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

tjcoop3
not rated yet Mar 15, 2011
why not avoid it altogether and choose an adhesive that does not contain zinc? There are several that can be found by doing a basic internet search.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.