Poli-Grip dental adhesives containing zinc pulled over possible health risks

The Canadian Press ~ The News
Published on February 19, 2010

TORONTO - The manufacturer of the Poli-Grip brand is pulling its zinc-containing denture adhesives from the Canadian market because long-term excessive use of the products could pose a health risk.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will move to zinc-free versions of all affected Poli-Grip denture adhesive products. Those to be removed from the shelves are: Poli-Grip Advanced Care, Extra Strength and Ultra Fresh.
"Zinc Free" will be clearly shown on the new packaging, the company said Thursday.
"We are taking this action because we have become aware of potential health problems associated with the long-term excessive use of our zinc-containing denture adhesive products," Dr. Howard Marsh, chief medical officer of GSK's consumer health-care division, said in a statement. "These reports are very rare, given that several million people worldwide are users of the products."
Zinc is an essential part a healthy diet, but studies suggest an excessive intake from zinc-containing denture adhesives over several years may cause neurological symptoms, including numbness, tingling or weakness in the arms and legs, difficulties with walking and balance, and blood problems such as anemia.
GSK said Poli-Grip is safe to use as directed on the product label. However, some consumers apply more adhesive than directed and use it more than once per day.
Consumers concerned that they may have been using the product in excess should stop using it, talk to their doctor and switch to a zinc-free alternative, advised Marsh, noting that Poli-Grip Original, Comfort Strips or Powder do not contain zinc.
He said overuse of adhesive could be a sign of ill-fitting dentures that consumers should have checked by their dentists.
Consumers with questions may call GSK toll-free at 1-888-521-8033.