Denture glue is a solution for loose denture problems. They keep old dentures in when it just might be time for new ones. You use it so that your dentures can feel secure and tight because without it, your dentures are swimming in your mouth. Sometimes you even have to use your tongue and cheek muscles to hold the dentures in place. Denture glue isn’t harmful to your body or health in small amounts. However, have you wondered what the long-term effects could be? What resides in that little paste or powder that goes into your denture before it sits in your mouth for hours on end?
Composition and Ingredients
Most denture glues are made up of two essential ingredients. These ingredients are poly methyl vinyl ether-malevich anhydride (PVM-MA) and sodium carboxymethylcellulose (CMC). PVM-MA and CMC to this date are believed to be completely harmless in your body. The additional ingredients used in each denture adhesive is what separates the different brands and types of denture glue. Some contain petroleum jelly, silica, preservatives, and various synthesized chemicals. Others could include polyethylene oxide and titanium dioxide. It is currently very rare to find denture glue that is completely organic and biodegradable. At one point in time all denture glue used zinc to provide better adhesion.
Effects on Your Body and Health
You need zinc for proper growth and healing. It also helps boost your immune system, but only a very small quantity of zinc is actually required for your body. You can get zinc poisoning if there is too much because it can be absorbed directly through your gums and digestive system. Zinc poisoning can cause multiple health issues including nerve damage, irregular bowel movements and copper deficiency in your body. This can lead to bone marrow suppression and spinal cord degeneration. Initial signs of zinc poisoning include the sudden onset of tingling and numbness in the fingers and toes. Other signs are reduced blood pressure and poor balance. There are also occurrences of unexplained weakness, difficulty urinating and bowel incontinence.
Petroleum jelly is made up of mineral oils and waxes. Most of its carcinogenic substances are removed before given to the public for use. The procedure of the carcinogen removal varies and sometimes there is no guarantee that all of it is removed. Petroleum jelly can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps or induce vomiting if ingested in large quantities.
Silica is usually harmful to the respiratory system. Rarely does it involve the digestive system. Silica can cause hydration when ingested. The biggest concern with silica in general is its carcinogenic effect.
Most preservatives used in denture glue are parabens, commonly found in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. They are mainly used for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties. They are known to disrupt hormone function, influencing estrogen activity in the body. It can also act as an allergen for certain people and affect their immune system.
Polyethylene Oxide and Titanium Dioxide
Both polyethylene oxide and titanium dioxide may cause gastrointestinal blockage. Titanium Dioxide has some relation of being carcinogenic.
Hiding Major Problems
Denture glue does what it’s supposed to: glues your denture in place. When your dentures are glued and secured however, it hides the source of the problem: your loose denture; and creates even more adverse effects to your health.
Problems affecting your mouth
Your loose denture can cause further bone resorption, faster wearing of your denture teeth, and can lead to denture fractures and breaks. When your bone shrinks, it affects the foundation of your denture and makes it harder for your denture to stay stable in your mouth. Unstable dentures lead to a slight change in the way you bite, and the uneven pressure will cause micro fractures or stress fractures that slowly build in your denture until they ultimately break. You can read more in 4 Denture Problems Preventing You From Actually Eating and 5 Facts Every Denture Wearer Should Know To Be Healthier.
Problems affecting your overall health
There are often multiple reasons why it’s hard to get a proper denture treatment such as a reline or rebase (denture refit). Denture glue covers up denture negligence, but the health side-effects can be dangerous. Often times people intake a considerable amount of glue daily and a substantial amount remains on the gum. The excess amounts of glue dissolve into the mouth and is either absorbed into the gum tissue or swallowed into the digestive system. People commonly report having a sticky feeling in their esophagus and experiencing mild cases of constipation. Regular daily intake of glue can also impact bowel movements.
Always be cognitive of how much denture glue you’re putting. In small amounts it’s okay and sometimes even recommended. If you notice that the glue oozes out of the dentures just so that it can stay in place then you are putting too much. If you also notice that after a few hours of use and the denture glue still remains on your gums then you have placed too much glue.
What to do…
The best thing for you to do is keeping up with your annual check-ups, care and maintenance with your denturist. The things your denturist will assess is the stability and the retention of your dentures. With adequate stability and retention, a reline or rebase can be completed to help the dentures feel tight and secure again without changing the way you bite or chew. If the stability and retention is poor then it is time to get new dentures. Don’t fall into the trap of getting too used to your current dentures as it will create many other problems. You have options when it comes to getting new dentures. For example, with complete denture wearers they can choose to get implant dentures, suction dentures or just their regular complete dentures.