Denture adhesives are available in many forms including creams or pastes, powders, cushions, strips and wafers, and are used to hold false teeth securely in the mouth. They create a seal between the gum and denture plate that ‘sticks’ false teeth in place and keeps food particles from getting in-between. Zinc has been a regular ingredient for many years as it enhances adhesion.
In the years before zinc was introduced in denture adhesives, the products available at the time did not provide much of a hold or a seal. This required repeated applications during an average day. Plates would slip out of place frequently. With zinc added to the formulas used, the dentures would stay in place and wearers would experience something called all-day hold.
Background of Zinc Poisoning From Denture Adhesives
Zinc is an essential mineral required for good health. It is found in many different protein-rich foods including beef, chicken, and shellfish. Zinc is also available as a dietary supplement. The type of zinc found in denture adhesives is different to the type we find in food. It is a synthetic zinc which provides better adhesion.
When denture adhesives are used on a daily basis, a high concentration of zinc can enter our bodies resulting in an overdose effect. With too much zinc in our bloodstreams, it can lead to a copper deficiency which can result in neurological disorders. To combat this, denture adhesive manufacturers have created zinc-free alternatives.
Studies Involving Zinc In Denture Adhesive
The daily recommended dosage of zinc for men is 11-milligrams. For women it is 8-milligrams. In a study performed back in 2008, it was discovered that some patients that used a large amount of denture adhesive cream were suffering from various neurologic abnormalities. Ongoing investigations resulted in the cause being linked to the use of denture adhesive that contained zinc. These denture creams investigated contained zinc concentrations of between 17-34 milligrams/g, so it would not take much denture cream to be used before it would mean that the average person was above their daily recommended dosage.
You can read more about the study and issues found here.
Zinc In Denture Adhesive Side Effects
The symptoms associated with zinc poisoning, the point where too much zinc is in the body, include:
- stomach cramps,
- and fever.
Further symptoms also include:
- loss of balance,
- joint pain,
- tingling sensations,
- muscle weakness,
- kidney and liver damage,
- anemia, and
- cardiovascular diseases.
Treatment For Zinc Poisoning
When zinc poisoning is discovered, immediate medical intervention is required. Fluids and medications will have to be administered in order to counteract the effects of the poisoning. Vital signs will require constant monitoring and should other symptoms develop, medications will be required to combat the development of more serious conditions.
As the poison must be flushed out of the system, a tube may be inserted in the patient’s mouth or stomach to assist with this. Zinc poisoning is considered a life threatening emergency which requires swift action in order to recover. Information that would be helpful to emergency personnel would be the level of zinc exposure, source of the zinc and time of exposure.
Advantages Of Denture Adhesive Without Zinc
There are several advantages to using zinc free denture adhesives, especially when compared to wearing no adhesive at all. They include the following:
When a denture adhesive without zinc is used correctly, it will help to hold your false teeth securely in place in your mouth. Some types of adhesives will also create a cushion effect where your dentures will not irritate your mouth by rubbing against gums or other parts of your mouth.
With the all-day firm grip that today’s denture adhesives provide, you can eat any and all foods. There was a time when denture wearers had to pass on some of their favorite foods simply because biting into them would loosen their dentures. Not being able to eat certain foods could lead to nutritional deficiencies.
With dentures that don’t fall or slip out of your mouth, you are able to smile, speak, eat, drink and sing with confidence knowing that your false teeth are not going to fail you and cause embarrassment. A good denture adhesive prevents this from happening.
Disadvantages Of Zinc Free Denture Adhesive
In previous times, there was a definite disadvantage of using denture adhesive that did not include zinc, being that the hold was a lot less. However, with advancements in the products available, there are plenty of zinc-free alternatives now available that provide good adhesion.
Regarding the disadvantages of using denture adhesives in general:
As is the case with any kind of denture adhesive, you will spend more time cleaning the adhesive off than you did before. The adhesive pads (including cushions, strips, and wafers), creams and powders require extra attention in order to remove them completely from your false teeth and mouth.
Aside from using denture adhesive pads, the application of paste and powder can be tricky. It can also become a bigger mess than you expected with excessive amounts of paste spreading across plates or powder floating all over the bathroom.
Is It Safe To Use Denture Adhesive That Contain Zinc?
Denture wearers are advised to follow directions related to the use of denture adhesive pastes, powders or pads. The formulas that do contain zinc should only have a small amount to enhance adhesion. When using these specific products, use them in moderation to prevent too much zinc being absorbed into your body.
Also be careful if you are taking zinc supplements or multivitamins. The combination of zinc from the adhesive and the supplements can result in overdose. Please speak to your doctor for specific advice if required.
If you can reduce the amount of denture adhesive required in order to have a good, firm fit, then do that. Also, remember that if your dentures fit properly you may not require the extra assistance of a product meant to hold them in place. Loose fitting dentures may be a signal to see your dentist and not a sign to use more denture adhesive.
Best Denture Adhesives Without Zinc
Zinc Free Denture Creams
A denture cream, or paste, comes in a squeezable tube that is smaller than one that would typically contain toothpaste. The same principle applies; only denture cream is not intended to be used to clean false teeth. Instead, the product creates a seal between gums and plates which holds dentures securely in place.
The cream is applied directly to the side of the denture plates that will come in contact with your upper or lower gums. When done correctly, there should be no oozing of excess cream from under the plates and the paste will provide all-day hold.
Super Polygrip Zinc Free Denture Adhesive Cream
Not only is this denture cream without zinc, it has no artificial colors or flavors. It has been specially formulated to offer all-day hold. All you require are two or three pea-size amounts of cream applied to each denture plate.
This product has been clinically proven to keep up to 74% more food particles sealed out from getting under your false teeth and creating discomfort. The comparison is made to what would result from not using an adhesive at all.
Super Polygrip is a well-known product name which contains a full line of denture adhesive products and accessories.
For more information on Super Polygrip Denture Adhesive Cream, click here.
Effergrip Denture Adhesive Cream
This zinc-free product contains a formula that provides an extra-strong hold when gripping dentures in your mouth. The cream has to be applied in three short strips that are strategically located to provide maximum holding power.
This particular product also has the approval of the American Dental Association and carries the ADA seal of acceptance.
Effergrip has a history of manufacturing effective products for use in denture care and with the correct amount used daily, you will be able to experience all-day hold and be able to enjoy eating and all other normal activities without fear of slippage.
For more information on Effergrip Denture Adhesive Cream, click here.
Zinc Free Adhesive Powders
Denture adhesive powders essentially do the same thing as creams – hold false teeth securely in place. However, as a powder, application is different. Basically, all you need to do is wet the bottom of your denture plates and sprinkle on some of the powder.
Allow it to soak up the water and gently remove the excess powder. Insert the denture into your mouth and hold in place for a few seconds for the seal to be created.
Again, many of these powders provide all-day hold.
Super Poligrip Denture Adhesive Powder
Featuring no artificial colors, this zinc-free denture powder provides all-day hold with a single application. The powder creates a strong seal between gum and denture plate blocking food particles from getting between them and causing irritation.
The Super Poligrip product line includes several items specifically developed for the care of false teeth.
To see more information on Super Poligrip Adhesive Powder, click here.
Klutch Denture Adhesive Powder
This powder utilizes something Klutch calls their “Super Holding Original Formula” which contains no zinc and does not have a strong aftertaste. Expect powerful all-day hold with a single application and a seal that keeps food particles away from sensitive gums.
For more information on Klutch Denture Adhesive Powder, click here.
Denture wearers may be faced with having to use products that help keep their false teeth from slipping out of place. With proper fitting dentures, this is not normally a problem. But when it does develop, it is good to know that denture adhesives exist in different forms to help with this potentially painful, embarrassing and annoying problem.
However, zinc in denture adhesives has been linked to several health conditions when an excessive amount is absorbed by the body. Fortunately, denture adhesive manufacturers stepped up and altered their formulas to provide zinc-free alternatives for denture wearers. This provides a safe means to hold dentures secure without added health risks.