[MARMAM] New paper on dental erosion in dolphins

Carolina Loch carolinaloch at yahoo.com.br
Thu Apr 4 13:29:59 PDT 2013

Dear MARMAM subscribers,

We are pleased to announce the publication of the following paper in the current issue of Marine Mammal Science:

Dental erosion in South Atlantic dolphins (Cetacea: Delphinidae): A macro and microscopic approach

Carolina Loch, Liliane J. Grando, Donald R. Schwass, Jules A. Kieser, R. Ewan Fordyce and Paulo C. Simões-Lopes


Volume 29, Issue 2, April 2013, Pages 338-347


erosion is the demineralization of dental tissues independent of bacterial action,
being related to ingestion of acidic substances or regurgitation of
physiological acids. This condition has been documented and studied in humans
and few other mammals, but only recently diagnosed in cetaceans. We analyzed
teeth of 350 individuals from 10 species of South Atlantic
delphinids. Specimens diagnosed with dental erosion were evaluated macroscopically
and with light microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Micro-CT. Macroscopic
characteristics and microscopic analysis revealed similar features as observed
in humans. The overall low prevalence of erosion and higher incidence in the
lingual faces of teeth is consistent with intrinsic acid reflux rather than
dietary or environmental acids. Upper gastrointestinal tract disorders such as
peptic ulcers and chronic gastritis are known to promote gastric reflux to the
oral cavity. Dolphins reportedly may have severe parasite infection leading to
gastric lesions, and may show positive biopsies for Helicobacter, bacteria related to occurrence of gastritis.
Cetaceans present upper gastrointestinal disorders with potential
to promote gastric reflux and generate dental erosion, but a clear connection
among these factors requires further investigation. 

Keywords: Acid
reflux, dolphin teeth, gastric lesions, Micro-CT, SEM.

Full text is available at:

Or alternatively, a pdf can be requested at: carolinaloch at yahoo.com.br 

Best regards,

MSc. Carolina Loch Silva 
PhD Candidate
Geology Department, University of Otago
Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Laboratório de Mamíferos Aquáticos UFSCFlorianópolis, SC - Brasil 
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