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Excess Denture Cream Use may Lead to Nerve Damage

Too much use of denture cream can lead to nerve damage, a recent study reveals. Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas reported on four patients who habitually used “extremely large amounts”of dental cream and were found to develop neurological problems later on. All patients were found to have abnormally high zinc levels in their blood, along with abnormally low copper levels. Symptoms seen among patients included weakness in the hands, arms, and legs, poor balance, cognitive decline, and urinary incontinence.

Lead study author, Dr. Sharon Nations, proposed that excessive use of denture cream, which contains zinc, led to the patients’ neurological problems. Zinc and copper are both needed for optimum neurological health. However, balance should be ensured since excess zinc intake may lead to copper depletion and vice versa.

Normal blood level for copper is between 0.75 to 1.45 mcg/ml, while the top normal number for zinc blood levels is 1.10 mcg/ml. However, copper levels for the patients were only from 0.1 to 0.23 mcg/ml, while zinc levels ranged from 1.36 to 4.28
mcg/ml. Researchers said that the only “plausible explanation”for their high zinc levels and copper deficiency is the zinc concentration of 17,000 and 34,000 mcg/g in the denture creams that they used.

The researchers also estimated that based on the patients’ denture cream use, they used at least 330 mg of zinc daily, far more than the recommended 8 mg and 11 mg use for women and men, respectively, and the 40 mg largest daily tolerable zinc daily intake. After quitting denture cream use and taking copper supplements, “mild neurologic improvement” was seen among the patients.

People using large amounts of denture cream due to ill-fitting dentures should seek professional care, researchers urged.

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