We are becoming increasingly aware that our daily exposure to chemicals may not be healthy. When it’s something like denture adhesive, which you’re using every day to secure your dentures and putting it on your gums where it can be easily absorbed by your body (the mouth is designed to start digestion and absorb some nutrients directly), the concern is even greater.
But how toxic are denture adhesives?
The two most popular active ingredients in denture adhesives are polymethyl vinyl ether-malevich anhydride (PVM/MA) copolymer and sodium carboxymethylcellulose (CMC). PVM/MA was recently reassessed by a toxicity panel,which concluded that the ingredient is non-toxic and safe for use in cosmetics, including toothpaste and denture adhesives.
CMC is a cellulose derivative, taken from wood or cotton. It’s generally considered safe.
Polyvinyl acetate (PVA) is also sometimes used in denture adhesives. It’s a common ingredient in chewing gum, and is generally inert.
The primary toxicity concern in denture adhesives is zinc, which is added to many denture adhesives to help improve their function. Zinc is an essential mineral, but in large quantities, it can be toxic because it displaces another vital nutrient: copper. Zinc toxicity can lead to severe and permanent nerve damage.
First, make sure your dentures fit properly. Properly fitting dentures don’t require much adhesive. If you find yourself using more denture adhesive than in the past, it’s time to get your dentures relined or replaced.
Next, make sure that you’re using the appropriate amount of denture adhesive. At recommended quantities, denture adhesive is safe.
Finally, stop using adhesive and talk to your doctor if you start to notice numbness or tingling in your fingers and toes.
Note that you can’t always tell if your adhesive has zinc in it. Many companies don’t put it on the label even if they’re using it.
Of course, you can also completely avoid the potential toxicity of denture adhesives by getting implant dentures. Implant dentures are completely secured using dental implants, and have no need of denture adhesive, ever.
If you would like to learn about implant dentures in Philadelphia, please call (610) 272-0828 for an appointment with a denture dentist at Dental Excellence of Blue Bell.
Dental Excellence of Blue Bell