“Fixodent – and forget it!” The well-known slogan for Fixodent denture cream is meant to imply that the cream allows users to go about their lives without constant worry about their dentures. However, for Mark Jacoby, whose debilitating nerve damage has confined him to a wheelchair, the slogan has taken on a whole new meaning. “Well, apparently I can’t forget it because it took a lot away from me,” he said. Jacoby believes that his nerve damage and resulting disability is due to Fixodent’s high zinc content, and he is not alone. Several former Fixodent users have filed a class action products liability lawsuit against Fixodent’s manufacturer, Proctor & Gamble, alleging that the denture cream is responsible for their health problems.
For several years, Fixodent was marketed and sold with no notice to consumers that it contained the mineral zinc and no safety warning about the potential of zinc poisoning. When zinc is ingested or absorbed in high quantities over a substantial period of time, it interferes with the body’s absorption of copper. This can cause the nerve damage reported by Jacoby and many other Fixodent users.
In 2006, researchers at the University of Texas completed a study of four denture cream users with neurological disease, finding that all four had measurably high levels of zinc in their blood. While the results of the study seemed to point conclusively to Fixodent as the cause of the subjects’ diseases, the study results were delayed for publication after a peer reviewer claimed that the study was inconclusive and speculative. Only later was it revealed that the reviewer was a paid consultant to Proctor & Gamble and that he may have blocked the study’s release.
After the study was finally released in 2009, Proctor & Gamble began to include a zinc warning on Fixodent packages. For many of the plaintiffs in the products liability suit, however, it is too little, too late. “I would prefer to see the makers take the zinc right out of the product,” said plaintiff Anne Coffman, “or take the product right off the market.”
If you or a family member has suffered injuries from a dangerous or defective product, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.
Source: ABC News, “Fixodent: Can Excessive Use of Popular Denture Cream Cause Nerve Damage?”, Lauren Pearle, James Hill, Chris Vlasto, and Cleopatra Andreadis, 8 February 2011