Man loses feeling in legs after long-term denture fixative use

August 8, 2017, British Medical Journal

A 62-year-old man lost the feeling in both his legs after the regular long term use of a denture fixative containing zinc, reveal doctors writing in the online journal BMJ Case Reports.

The man was referred to a neurology clinic after developing numbness, pain and weakness in his legs. The symptoms, which had lasted for more than six months, stopped him from leaving the house.

An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan revealed spinal cord abnormalities and after several tests he was diagnosed with deficiency myelopathy (CDM).

CMD is a which can cause loss of feeling and numbness in the arms and legs.

The man explained that he had been using 2-4 tubes of denture fixative that contained zinc every week for the past 15 years because of his ill-fitting false teeth.

Excess intake can interfere with the absorption of copper, leading to , in rare cases.

The man was advised to stop using the fixative and given copper supplements to treat his symptoms. But he didn't recover completely, and the doctors warn that irreversible nerve damage may be a consequence of a delayed diagnosis of CDM.

Explore further: Doctors often misdiagnose zinc deficiency, and unaware of impact of excess zinc

More information: Case report: Zinc containing dental fixative causing copper deficiency myelopathy, DOI: 10.1136/bcr-2017-219802

Related Stories

Doctors often misdiagnose zinc deficiency, and unaware of impact of excess zinc

June 18, 2015
Doctors often misdiagnose zinc deficiency, and seem to be unaware of the impact of excess zinc on the body, shows a small audit of clinical practice, published online in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

Zinc effective in pediatric presymptomatic Wilson disease

May 4, 2017
(HealthDay)—For young children with presymptomatic Wilson disease, zinc monotherapy is safe and effective, according to a study published online April 28 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Squatting in 'skinny' jeans can damage nerve and muscle fibers in legs and feet

June 22, 2015
Squatting in 'skinny' jeans for a protracted period of time can damage muscle and nerve fibres in the legs, making it difficult to walk, reveals a case study published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

Recommended for you

Anticancer drug offers potential alternative to transplant for patients with liver failure

August 15, 2018
Patients suffering sudden liver failure could in the future benefit from a new treatment that could reduce the need for transplants, research published today shows.

Study shows how MERS coronavirus evolves to infect different species

August 14, 2018
In the past 15 years, two outbreaks of severe respiratory disease were caused by coronaviruses transmitted from animals to humans. In 2003, SARS-CoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus) spread from civets to infect ...

Inching closer to a soft spot in isoniazid-resistant tuberculosis

August 14, 2018
Antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis is a public health threat. TB and other bacteria become resistant to antibiotics by evolving genetic changes over time, which they can do quite quickly because bacterial lifecycles are short. ...

Why do women get more migraines?

August 14, 2018
Research published today reveals a potential mechanism for migraine causation which could explain why women get more migraines than men. The study, in Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, suggests that sex hormones affect ...

How long is an Ebola survivor contagious? One case is causing scientists to rethink the answer.

August 14, 2018
Surviving Ebola isn't like getting over the flu.

Link between common 'harmless' virus and cardiovascular damage

August 13, 2018
Researchers from Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) have found an unexpectedly close link between a herpes virus and the occurrence of immune cells damaging cardiovascular tissue.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.