Dr. Chauncey W. Crandall, author of Dr. Crandall’s Heart Health Report newsletter, is chief of the Cardiac Transplant Program at the world-renowned Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He practices interventional, vascular, and transplant cardiology. Dr. Crandall received his post-graduate training at Yale University School of Medicine, where he also completed three years of research in the Cardiovascular Surgery Division. Dr. Crandall regularly lectures nationally and internationally on preventive cardiology, cardiology healthcare of the elderly, healing, interventional cardiology, and heart transplants. Known as the “Christian physician,” Dr. Crandall has been heralded for his values and message of hope to all his heart patients.

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Denture Cream Zinc Poisoning

Tuesday, 05 Apr 2011 11:12 AM


Are you using more denture cream to make up for dentures that don’t fit as well as they used to? If so, you should stop, because according to a recent report published on WebMD.com, using excess denture cream can lead to zinc poisoning and potential disability.

The culprit is the zinc in Fixodent, made by Proctor and Gamble, and the older version of Poligrip from GlaxoSmithKline. Both products are safe to use as directed, but when people use too much of the product, thinking it is harmless, the result can be a zinc overdose. Since last May, Poligrip has become zinc-free.

The body needs a balance of zinc and copper, so too much zinc will result in low levels of copper. In addition, a zinc overdose can be toxic. Symptoms include limb weakness and numbness, and difficulty walking.

Doctors discovered that some older patients with mysterious, crippling disabilities actually were suffering from low levels of copper caused by an overdose of zinc that was coming from their denture cream.

Eleven patients were identified who suffered nerve damage that was linked to denture cream. Their symptoms began with numbness and problems moving their feet and legs. Soon their arms and balance were also affected. The patients’ zinc blood levels improved when they stopped using the denture cream, but sadly, most remained impaired.

Of the 11, the one patient who had not lost the ability to walk made a complete recovery. One can now walk without a cane. But another must use a cane and five require walkers while three remain in wheelchairs.

So how much denture cream had they been using? When used correctly, a 2.4-ounce tube should last six to eight weeks. The amount of zinc with this usage would be no more than there is in a daily vitamin. But some of these patients had been using two to three tubes a week for a long time.

The irony is that using this amount of dental cream ends up costing more than new, better-fitting dentures would.



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