Poligrip—a denture cream manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)—contains zinc, which help dentures to stay in place and also reduces odor. Zinc is not harmful to humans in small amounts. Some zinc is necessary for the body to function normally. In the 1950s, though, researchers began to see a relationship between too much zinc and not enough copper in some subjects. It was some decades still, however, before a connection was made among excess zinc, insufficient copper, and neurological disorders. It wasn’t until 2008 that scientists recognized the zinc found in denture creams as a possible cause of neuropathy.
Ongoing absorption of zinc into the body—which results from the use of a denture cream contains the mineral—can lead to a purging of too much of the body’s copper. The body needs copper to maintain a healthy nervous system. Neuropathy—the medical term to describe disorders affecting the peripheral nervous system (nerves outside the brain and spinal cord)—is a frequently reported effect of zinc poisoning. If left untreated, neuropathy can lead to permanent disability, and even death.
Because denture creams are classified as “Class I” medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), manufacturers are not required to list those products’ ingredients (or place warnings) on packaging. Nevertheless, after studies linking zinc in denture creams and nerve damage appeared, GSK disclosed the presence of zinc in Poligrip products. When injured consumers began filing lawsuits, GSK inserted a warning into Poligrip boxes, then discontinued selling denture creams with zinc.
While these actions may stop zinc-related injuries to users of denture creams in the future, they won’t do anything for those already harmed. Many who have been injured by excess zinc already believe that the failure of the manufacturers to warn them of the dangers of denture creams makes the companies responsible for the harms suffered—a position with legal support, no less.
Neuropathy can leave you permanently disabled, so early detection is of the utmost importance. If you are a denture cream user who experiences any change in your health, visit your doctor right away. If you are diagnosed with neuropathy or other health problem related to zinc toxicity, speak to experienced legal counsel. Your health problems might entitle you to compensation from a denture cream manufacturer. Our lawyers are now evaluating claims by Poligrip users alleging that denture cream use caused them injury. With more than 25 years of experience representing clients who have been harmed by big companies, we know what it takes to obtain compensation for injured clients. To speak with an attorney now about a possible denture cream lawsuit, call us at (888) 736-7262 or contact us online.