There are many problems that dentures have to overcome to be successful replacements for your natural teeth. For example, they have to try to look natural using materials that are most definitely unnatural. Solutions to this problem in the past, such as the use of uranium in denture teeth, haven’t always been wise, and can contribute to serious health risks.
But what about one of the solutions to the problem of denture fit: denture adhesives (sometimes called denture glue)? Is this another toxic solution to a denture problem?
Most Denture Adhesive Ingredients Are Safe
It’s reasonable to be concerned about the potential toxicity of denture adhesives. After all, you are putting it in your mouth every day , and your gums absorb chemicals from saliva. So if there’s anything toxic in denture adhesive, your body will take it in.
The good news is, though, that the main ingredients in denture adhesives are safe. The most common ingredients surely sound like something naturalist medicine people would warn you about. Polymethyl vinyl ether-malevich anhydride (PVM/MA) and sodium carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) sound like potentially harmful chemicals, but they’re actually not. A thorough panel recently reviewed the safety of PVM/MA, determining that it was non-toxic and safe.
CMC is a derivative of cotton or wood. It is commonly considered safe, with no evidence to portray it as otherwise.
Polyvinyl acetate (PVA) is another common denture adhesive ingredient, but it’s generally inert: it doesn’t interact chemically with your saliva, and it’s a common ingredient in chewing gum.
But There Is Some Concern
However, there is an ingredient in denture adhesives that is worrisome: Zinc. Zinc is a great example of how the dose makes the poison. At recommended levels, zinc is a vital nutrient, but if you get too much of it, it can displace copper in your nerves, resulting in severe and permanent nerve damage, called hyperzincuria. An example of this occurred in 2017, when a 62-year-old mechanic was housebound and had to be rushed to the hospital after overusing denture adhesive.
To make matters even worse: you won’t know whether your denture adhesive has zinc in it or not. Although manufacturers like Poligrip and Fixodent now offer zinc free (or “no added zinc”) formulas, manufacturers are not required to list the ingredient in their products. The only practical way to protect yourself from this danger is to make sure you’re not using too much denture adhesive.
To Keep from Using Too Much Adhesive
Properly fitting dentures don’t need much in the way of adhesives. They should stay in place quite well on their own. If you didn’t need denture adhesive before, but now you do, consider making an appointment for a denture refit or reline.
Use only a small amount of denture adhesive. If any of it seeps out when you put your dentures in, that’s too much. See our instructions on the proper use of denture adhesive.
Be aware of symptoms of hyperzincuria. If you start to experience tingling or numbness in your extremities, stop using denture adhesive and talk to your doctor.
Avoiding Denture Adhesive
You can get dentures that will stay in place without any adhesive whatsoever. Implant dentures are anchored in your jawbone, so they always remain in place without the need for any amount of adhesives.
If you would like to learn more about these new dentures, please contact a local FOY® Dentures dentist today for an appointment.