There are around 35 million denture wearers in the United States. Many of the Americans who wear dentures use denture creams such as Poligrip and Fixodent. These products promise to help hold dentures more tightly in the mouth and to help form a seal that protects the gums and dentures by keeping food particles out.
Unfortunately, many denture wearers who used Fixodent, Poligrip, Super Poligrip and other related products found themselves experiencing unexpected side effects, such as numbness in the arms and legs, loss of balance, problems walking, and cognitive and memory impairments.
Studies have suggested a link between the use of denture creams and these troubling side effects. The problem: the denture creams contained too much zinc. Both zinc and copper are required by the body in carefully balanced amounts. When people are exposed to too much zinc, their copper levels may fall to a dangerously low level.
Hundreds of people have experienced these problems as a result of their use of denture cream. Some have begun to take action. Already, there have been at least 25 lawsuits in 11 different states consolidated into a multi-district litigation by a federal judge. Other plaintiffs throughout the U.S. are taking action as well, working to hold the denture cream manufacturers responsible for producing dangerous products.
At Roberts & Roberts, our experienced product liability lawyers are ready to help those who suffered harm as a result of their use of denture cream. Call us today to learn how we can assist you if you or a loved one has been hurt by the denture products you used.
The Dangers of Denture Cream
According to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the FDA first approved the sale of denture creams containing zinc approximately 15 years ago. Zinc is a dietary trace metal, and humans require a certain amount of zinc in their bodies. An adequate amount of zinc is normally consumed through diet, as zinc is commonly found in foods such as fish, yogurt and eggs.
Too much zinc can cause the levels of copper in the body to drop, leading to a dangerous blood disorder. An overdose of zinc can also cause zinc poisoning, which has symptoms including:
- Unexplained weakness.
- Balance problems or an unsteady gait.
- Tingling in the feet and hands.
- Weakness in the hands or arms.
- Weakness in the legs.
- An unexplained burning sensation or mysterious pain.
- Lack of coordination.
- A feeling as though you have gloves on your hands when you do not.
The symptoms of zinc poisoning are an important warning sign because elevated zinc levels can cause permanent neurological damage. This means that if denture cream gives you zinc poisoning, you may never recover completely.
Studies Link Denture Creams to Zinc Poisoning
Researchers first noticed a potential link between denture cream and zinc poisoning in 2008. A report was published in the medical journal Neurology in which doctors from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas described nerve-related disorders in four patients who had applied excessive amounts of denture cream to address their ill-fitting dentures.
The researchers noted that they could not conclude with certainty that the denture cream caused the problem. However, the report suggested a possible link that indicated the need for further study.
Picking up where the Texas Southwestern Medical Center researchers left off, a professor at the University of Maryland Dental School subsequently published a paper titled “What Every Dentist Should Know About Zinc.” The paper appeared in a medical journal called General Dentistry and revealed that patients using denture cream could be exposed to far too much zinc. In fact, in some cases, patients received up to 200 times the recommended daily allowance of zinc from the denture cream they were using.
The FDA has also acknowledged a potential link between denture cream and zinc poisoning, indicating that it had received numerous reports of “local and systemic symptoms consistent with zinc toxicity.”
In response to the studies, the FDA began urging manufacturers to either replace the zinc in their denture creams with less risky products or to properly label and identify their products as containing zinc.
Today, many manufacturers now offer specific zinc-free formulas of denture cream. Unfortunately, both the warnings from researchers about the possibility of zinc poisoning and the manufacturers’ changes in the formulas of their products comes too late for those who already have neurological or health impairments.
At Roberts & Roberts, our experienced product defect lawyers know how upsetting it can be when something goes wrong with a product that you count on. If you or a loved one has suffered serious side effects from using denture creams, you could be entitled to compensation.
The dangerous product attorneys at Roberts & Roberts are currently investigating claims related to denture cream. For a free, confidential review of your claim, call us today at (903) 597-6000 or contact us online. The call costs you nothing… It could mean everything.