Natural supplements don’t come any more important than zinc. Calling it an “essential” mineral doesn’t quite do it justice, as zinc possibly has the most wide-ranging effects in your body as any nutrient. It has been the subject of a spectrum of health breakthroughs, from its involvement in a healthy immune system to its role in cell growth. Unfortunately, zinc deficiency is a global issue; in the U.S. alone, about four million people are deficient in this critical element.
One good thing is that zinc is found in many natural foods, including red meat, yogurt, eggs, and fish. But let’s divert this article in a direction you might not see coming. Zinc is widely used in dental products — specifically, denture adhesives. And it can carry some risk to denture wearers if they are not careful.
Excess zinc, just like about anything you put in your body, can pose a potential health hazard. In the latest piece of health news, researchers are advising denture wearers to pay special attention to the amount of zinc they consume. The study is published in the current issue of “General Dentistry.”
If you wear dentures, it is important to follow instructions. Though it is relatively rare, patients can overuse the
adhesive and, although it happens rarely, they can ingest toxic levels of zinc. This can have adverse neurologic effects.
So here we go: the best way to use denture adhesive is to put a thin film or a series of dots across the denture surface. This helps ensure you are not overusing the adhesive. One tube should last three to 10 weeks with daily use. Make sure your denture fits properly, so you avoid overusing the adhesive. The denture can shrink or recede over time as your facial structure goes through slight changes. Avoid using increasing levels of adhesive to get that denture to stick.
To maintain a proper fit over time, patients should be evaluated by a dentist every six months. Overuse of the
adhesive can trigger nausea, stomach ache, and mouth irritation. Over time, toxic levels of zinc can cause a copper deficiency, which has been linked to neurological damage.
Currently, the FDA has issued no warnings regarding the use of denture adhesives, but patients should limit their usage of adhesive in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions and speak with their dentist if they have additional questions or concerns. Sometimes health advice isn’t quite of a positive nature!