Zinc, an essential mineral for our body, plays a role in mineral balance, immunity and cell growth. It occurs naturally in foods such as beef, eggs and yogurt, but it may also be found in denture adhesives. According to Dr. von Fraunhofer, MSc, PhD, co-author an article published in the current issue of General Dentistry, overusing denture adhesives can lead to “toxic levels of zinc, with adverse neurologic effects.” How do you know if you are using too much? You should apply only a thin film or a series of dots to the denture, according to the manufacturer’s directions, and one tube should last 1-2 months.
Regarding denture adhesives, More Is Not Better…
If you are using larger amounts of denture adhesive, trying to keep an ill-fitting denture in place, it is time to see your dentist. Denture-wearers should continue to see their dentist every six months, for an oral examination and assessment of the fit of their denture. The tissues of your mouth shrink over time, leading to gaps and loose dentures. Adjustments can be made in many cases, so that your denture can still fit without irritation or embarassing slips. In general, a new denture is required every five or six years.
Over-consumption of zinc, whether from denture adhesive, mineral zinc supplements or other sources, can cause irritation of your gums and nausea. It is difficult to produce high zinc levels in your body from your diet alone. High zinc levels can lead to numbness or tingling in your hands and feet, disturbances of taste, and muscle cramps. Zinc and copper, another essential mineral, are in balance. If your zinc levels go up, your copper levels go down. High levels of zinc can cause secondary copper deficiency. Disturbances in copper levels can produce nerve damage and and anemia (low blood count).
If you are using both zinc supplements and denture adhesives, discuss this with your doctor or nutritionist. We advise our patients to use denture adhesive sparingly, in accordance with the manufacturers’ directions, and to see us regularly for a thorough oral examination.
If you are seeking gentle, quality dental care, and you are in the greater Philadelphia, Delaware County, Wilmington Delaware or Media PA area, please visit Media PA dentist or call Dr. Bodak’s office at (610) 565-2868. I care about your oral health.
Dr. Bodak, your Media PA dentist