Dental abnormalities in eight captive giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) in China

J Comp Pathol. 2012 May;146(4):357-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jcpa.2011.08.001. Epub 2011 Sep 8.


Dental data from eight adult giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) (four females and four males) were collected at the Beijing Zoo from February 2009 to July 2010. Examination findings were recorded in dental charts. All the pandas had different degrees of tooth wear. Incisors, canines and second premolars had the most abnormalities. Five animals had caries; molars were the most affected. Chip fractures were found in seven teeth (incisor, canine and premolar) of five pandas; two had complicated fractures of their canines. Premolars and other teeth were missing in three pandas. Different degrees of dental plaque and calculus were found in all animals. Two pandas had mild gingivitis; the depth of periodontal pockets in all pandas was normal (0-2 mm). Five pandas had abnormal tooth mobility. Samples of dental plaque were collected for microbial culture. Two hundred and fifty-three bacterial strains belonging to 48 species of 23 genera were isolated. Streptococcus, Moraxella, Peptostreptococcus and Porphyromonas were the dominant genera. Further research with larger sample sizes of free-ranging and captive giant pandas will be required in order to demonstrate the absence of the premolar tooth, tooth fractures and the relatively low prevalence of periodontal disease in captive giant pandas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Zoo*
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • China
  • Dental Caries / microbiology
  • Dental Caries / pathology
  • Dental Caries / veterinary*
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology
  • Dental Plaque / pathology
  • Dental Plaque / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Molar / pathology
  • Mouth / microbiology
  • Tooth Diseases / microbiology
  • Tooth Diseases / pathology
  • Tooth Diseases / veterinary*
  • Ursidae*