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California Truck Driver Dies From Untreated Tooth Infection

What started as a toothache has cost a Sacramento truck driver his life.

Vadim Kondratyuk Anatoliyevich, 26 years old and a father of two in Antelope, was driving the route from Truckee to New York on Jan. 24 when he began to experience pain in the lower left portion of the mouth, according to his wife Nataliya as reported by Sacramento Bee. He made a stop at an Oklahoma dentist to have it checked, and he was prescribed antibiotics for the infection.

The pain did subside but things took a turn for the worse.

Tooth Ordeal Turned Deadly

While on the drive, Anatoliyevich complained about the tooth to his wife over the phone. His delivery made it to New York, at which point his mouth already swelled and he had to be helped out by his brother. The two took turns driving as the pain in Anatoliyevich’s mouth seemed manageable.

Anatoliyevich’s breathing became labored and he turned pale, Nataliya recalled. He was rushed to two Utah facilities, where he was given stronger antibiotics and put on dialysis.

Unfortunately, the infection had already spread to his blood and lungs, and he succumbed in the morning of Jan. 30. The wife made it to his bedside before he died.

“It was just not healing how it was supposed to. It was just getting worse,” the 22-year-old widow said in the report.

Nataliya said her husband, with whom she spent four years and had 2-year-old and 11-month-old daughters, had diabetes but was otherwise healthy. He also recently visited the dentist to fill a cavity in a different tooth.

“He was a great husband,” said the wife, who met her husband when they were teenagers attending a local Christian church.

A GoFundMe page had been set up to help pay for the costs of moving Anatoliyevich’s body back to California, the funeral service, and the family’s expenses.

Tooth Infections

In general, tooth infections occur with food trapped in between teeth, inciting the proliferation of bacteria that could enter the tooth through cracks or cavities. Once left untreated, they could lead to inflammation at the roots, which could spread to the whole head and neck.

In rare cases, infections could spread to the bloodstream and damage the organs, leading to death.



Regular brushing and flossing are the key to preventing tooth decay, but once there is already throbbing pain, one should seek immediate dental attention to clean the cavity or remove the tooth if needed.

Western Dental’s chief dental officer Dr. John Luther cited a case in 2007 where a 12-year-old boy from Maryland suffered what he thought was a simple toothache but was actually a severe infection that later went to his brain and killed him.

In a 2013 study, too, about one in 1,000 patients was found to die from tooth infections recorded from 2000 to 2008.

This month, a Minnesota dental surgeon was charged for the death of a teen who underwent wisdom tooth removal. The dentist is accused of missteps that include incorrectly administering general anesthesia and failing to properly monitor during the dental procedure.

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(Via TechTimes)