877-944-6131 Email Us

Clinician’s Corner: Denture Adhesives

Denture adhesives are pastes, powders or adhesive pads that may be placed in/on dentures to help them stay in place. In most cases, properly fitted and maintained dentures should not require the use of denture adhesives.

Over time, shrinkage in the bone structure in the mouth causes dentures to gradually become loose. When this occurs, the dentures should be professionally relined or new dentures made that fit the aging mouth properly. Denture adhesives fill gaps caused by shrinking bone and give temporary relief from loosening dentures.  They are effective; however, they are NOT a permanent solution!! If denture is ill-fitting, refer to a dentist.

How they work: The denture adherent holds dentures in place while chewing or speaking. They also form a seal that keeps food particles from sticking between the dentures and gums, which can be a problem with whole grains, or even fiber laxatives like Metamucil.


  • Paste Application: Most patients use too much! Just a “pea-sized” amount in 4-5 locations on denture is plenty. Fixodent, Polygrip.
  • Powders: Easier to clean. Better initial retention but falls sharply within the first six hours.
  • Thin Adhesive Liners (wafers or pads) : Sea-Bond.

Remember to scrub off the adherent each time the dentures are cleaned.

ZINC in Denture adhesives??

  • The problem becomes: Chronic, excessive ingestion of zinc can result in copper deficiency, which is an established and increasingly recognized cause of neurologic disease, causing weakness and numbness of the legs and hands.
  • Some marketed denture adhesive creams, including certain Fixodent and Poli-Grip formulations, contain zinc at levels of about 17 to 34 mg/g.

WHAT does the ADA (American Dental Association have to say: Effergrip®, is the only adherent that has the ADA seal.

Make sure that if you are doing some public speaking or going to a special event, use them to provide an extra level of confidence.

Pharmacists Role: Lots of prescription and over-the counter medications can cause dry mouth.  Ask your Thompson Pharmacist if your meds can cause dry mouth, and keep your dentures sticking to the gums.