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Zinc is a natural metallic chemical and a potent antioxidant that might help to reduce bad breath by killing plaque. Some studies suggest it has some mild activity in reducing the growth of plaque. It is often used as an ingredient in lozenges for sore throats and is also included in multivitamin formulations and in mouthwashes that also contain chlorhexidine and hydrogen peroxide.
There is limited evidence for zinc, a "metallurgic scavenger" in the body and antimicrobial, as an oral health remedy. Rather, zinc overexposure has recently become a greater concern as some dental products, such as zinc-containing denture adhesive creams, have resulted in zinc toxicity which can cause debilitating nerve damage, and even death. The body balances zinc and copper and zinc supplementation alone can cause a serious imbalance.
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