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September 2012, Volume 42 Number 9 , p 59 - 60


  • Nicholas W. Werner BSE


DENTURE ADHESIVES (also called denture adherents) are creams, pastes, powders, wafers, or strips used in or on dentures to keep them firmly in place temporarily.1 In most cases, dentures that are properly fitted and maintained don't require the use of denture adhesives. But over time, changes in bone structure cause dentures to gradually become loose.2 When this occurs, the dentures should be relined (which means adjusting the acrylic base of the denture to create a proper fit) or replaced with new dentures that fit properly.Denture adhesives fill gaps caused by loss of supporting bone structure and give temporary relief from loosening dentures. Some denture adhesives contain zinc in the form of calcium-zinc polymers, which exhibit adhesive and cohesive properties when mixed with saliva.3The FDA is aware of case reports in the medical literature linking adverse reactions, such as myelopathy with or without peripheral neuropathy, to chronic overuse of denture adhesives that contain zinc.3

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