Of concern to many denture-wearing patients lately is their denture adhesives. Many denture adhesives contain zinc. Using denture adhesives improperly, by using too much adhesive, may lead to the ingestion of excessive zinc. Excessive zinc ingestion leads to lower levels of copper in the blood which may lead to nerve and blood disorders affecting general health and well-being. The relationship between using excessive zinc-containing denture adhesive and subsequent nerve and blood disorders is not completely clear and will require more research.

Improper use of denture adhesives generally means using too much. Denture wearers commonly use too much adhesive if their dentures do not fit well. Dentures should require very little adhesive to be stable. The use of a small amount of adhesive is very unlikely to result in nerve and blood disorders as the proper amount of adhesive contains less zinc than that found in a multivitamin or in 6oz of ground beef.

The American Dental Association has issued a statement regarding this concern. Patients who wear dentures are encouraged to see their dentist annually to screen for oral cancer and to ensure that their dentures fit properly. If you find that you must use adhesive to wear your denture comfortably, you might also consider dental implants as a means to stabilize your denture or even get rid of it all together. Until we know more, get your dentures checked for proper fit and look for a denture adhesive that does not contain zinc.

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Article, by Jonathan Campbell, DDS. Dr. Campbell is a dentist in Salt Lake City.