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Dentists Watch Out for Zinc

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.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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