FDA Warns of Allergy to Denture Cleansers

Chemical in Denture Cleansers May Trigger Risky Allergic Reactions

Medically Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on February 26, 2008

Feb. 26, 2008 -- Use denture cleansers? The FDA wants you to watch for allergic reactions and make sure you use those products as directed -- and never in the mouth.

The FDA says it's received 73 reports of allergic reactions, including at least one death, linked to denture cleansers.

A denture cleanser ingredient called persulfate is "the most likely cause of the problem," states the FDA's web site. Persulfates are used in most denture cleansers as part of the cleaning and bleaching process.

The FDA is asking makers of denture cleansers to change their products' labels to make it clear that the products are designed to clean dentures in a container -- not in the mouth -- and to consider using alternatives to persulfates.

Meanwhile, here's what the FDA wants denture cleanser users to do:

  • Read all instructions carefully.
  • Never chew, swallow, or gargle with denture cleansers.
  • Always thoroughly rinse dentures and other dental appliances before placing in the mouth.
  • Remember that reactions may not occur right away.
  • If symptoms do occur, remove dentures and contact the prescribing dentist.
  • Ask the prescribing dentist about using an alternative method for cleaning dentures.

Possible signs of allergic reaction may include irritation, tissue damage, rash, hives, gum tenderness, breathing problems, and low blood pressure (hypotension).

Allergic to Persulfate

Some of the reported allergic reactions happened when patients misused denture cleansers by gargling with or swallowing the products, which caused abdominal pain, vomiting, seizures, low blood pressure (hypotension), and difficulty breathing.

But allergic reactions can also occur with proper use of the products, the FDA notes.

Allergic reactions to persulfate may begin right away or after many years of use, and they may worsen with repeated use of the products. People at risk are those who are allergic to persulfates and those who can't read or understand product labels, notes the FDA.

Show Sources


FDA: "Advice for Patients: Denture Cleansers."

FDA: "FDA Public Health Notification: Denture Cleanser Allergic Reaction and Misuse."

© 2008 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. View privacy policy and trust info