The denture cream lawsuit settlement claims pending against manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline (Poligrip) and Procter & Gamble (Fixodent) allege that those companies failed to warn consumers about the dangers of zinc toxicity. While the body requires zinc in small amounts, too much of the mineral can purge the body of another essential mineral, copper, which can lead to nerve damage. The risk of developing a debilitating disorder is a cause of concern among denture cream users, many of whom want to know how much of the adhesive product they can safely use. The results of a 2008 University of Texas (UT) study provide some insight about how much denture cream (with zinc) is too much.
Scientists have known of the links between excess zinc consumption and copper deficiency, and between copper deficiency and nerve damage for many years. But until the above-mentioned UT study was published, zinc as a cause of neurological damage was not established. Researchers from the Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas discovered the connection between denture cream and neuropathy by studying four patients exhibiting symptoms of the disorder. The discovery that all four were heavy denture cream users led the UT researchers to conclude that use of the product caused the patients’ neurological disease.
Just how much denture cream were they using? According to the results of the study, each of the subjects was using approximately two tubes per week. In general, one tube of denture cream lasts anywhere from 3 to 10 weeks. The daily zinc intake for each subject was about 330 milligrams, whereas the recommended daily dose of the mineral is eleven milligrams for men and eight milligrams for women. While normal zinc blood levels should not top 1.10 micrograms per mL, the patients in the study exhibited levels from 1.36 to 4.28 micrograms per mL.
The symptoms exhibited by the test subjects included weakness in the limbs, spasticity, poor cognition, ataxia (a lack of muscle coordination), knee and back pain, and difficulty balancing and walking… to the extent that a wheelchair was required. These side effects are consistent with those of denture cream litigants, many of whom now use a walker, cane, or wheelchair to get around. One man even died when his neuropathy caused the paralysis of his diaphragm.
In response to the lawsuits against them, GSK and P&G provided revised instructions on how much denture cream should be used. For those patients who have already suffered the severe, life-altering effects of zinc poisoning, however, this is too little too late. Although it does seem that zinc-induced neurological disease comes from habitual overuse of denture cream, it is important that users exercise caution and follow manufacturer recommendations for denture cream use.
And if you believe that your injuries were caused by using denture cream, it is vital that you speak with legal counsel right away. The Rottenstein Law Group is currently evaluating denture cream lawsuit settlement claims on behalf of injured Fixodent and Poligrip users. To have your potential denture cream lawsuit evaluated for free by a product liability attorney with more than 25 years of experience, fill out this form or call 1 (888) 976-8529.