Background

Denture adhesives are pastes, powders or pads that may be placed in/on dentures to help them stay in place. Sometimes denture adhesives contain zinc to enhance adhesion.  In most cases, properly fitted and maintained dentures should not require the use of denture adhesives. Over time, shrinkage in the bone structure in the mouth causes dentures to gradually become loose. When this occurs, the dentures should be relined or new dentures made that fit the mouth properly.

Zinc and Potential Risk

Zinc is a mineral that is an essential ingredient for good health. It is found in protein-rich foods such as shellfish, beef, chicken and nuts, as well as in some dietary supplements.  However, an excess of zinc in the body can lead to health problems such as nerve damage, especially in the hands and feet. This damage appears slowly, over an extended period of time.  Overuse of zinc-containing denture adhesives, especially when combined with dietary supplements that contain zinc and other sources of zinc, can contribute to an excess of zinc in your body.

Advice for Denture Wearers

Denture wearers may have difficulty determining the proper amount of denture adhesive to use if the instructions are not clear. If a denture wearer is uncertain about how much to use, he or she should contact a denturist to help determine the correct amount.

  • Do not use more adhesive than recommended.