Zinc and dentures

GlaxoSmithKline, makers of Poligrip denture cream, among many, many other drugs and medicinal products, is reported to have paid some $120 million in the past 9 months to settle claims that some Poligrip products caused neurological problems in some users. Complainants purportedly received more than $1 million per person.

Plaintiffs claimed the zinc used in the Poligrip products caused neurological disorders, including nerve damage leading to memory loss, balance issues, and muscle weakness. Zinc is used in denture creams to increase its adhesive properties. The problems related to the zinc became largely known after a 2008 study of patients with neurological issues revealed a link between zinc and the neurological disorders. The study was conducted by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

GlaxoSmithKline is not the only manufacturer to use zinc in its denture cream products. Procter & Gamble also faced lawsuits for its Fixodent denture cream, which contained zinc. For more information, see this article.