Dentists are starting to warn their patients about the dangers of zinc. That’s because dental adhesives have traditionally contained zinc because it enhances the sticking power. This mineral may also be found in some other dental products, including restorative materials and mouthwash. Since zinc can be absorbed into the body, it can accumulate and lead to zinc toxicity. This happens in part by depleting copper from the body. Symptoms may include digestive upset and nerve problems. There are reports in the medical literature of numbness in hands and legs linked to use of denture creams.
The Food and Drug Administration recently sent a letter to the manufacturers of such products suggesting that zinc overexposure may be contributing to adverse neurological events. The FDA is suggesting that companies consider removing zinc from denture creams. Some have already done so and others may soon follow. Until they do, consumers should read labels carefully.