Tooth Infection Kills Young Trucker Before He Can Reach Home

It’s a tragic story that happens more often than it should: a man died last week from a tooth infection. He was young–just 26 years old–and though he had diabetes, he was generally in good health. But that didn’t save Vadim Kondratyuk when an infection spread from his tooth to his lungs. Nothing could stop the infection at that point, and Vadim never made it home to see his wife and two daughters.

A Problem Ignored

Vadim’s wife, Nataliya, said that he had complained of tooth pain long before it became a crisis. Dentists speculate that the problem may actually have begun six months or more before. It may even have taken years to develop.

But Vadim didn’t let the pain stop him and he left his Sacramento home on January 17 to make a delivery to New York. He made it as far as Oklahoma before he couldn’t ignore the pain any longer. He had to stop and get help. He saw a dentist for an emergency cleaning of the tooth and was given antibiotics. He felt a little better and resumed driving. He managed to complete his delivery.

Trying to Make It Home

Vadim’s reprieve was only temporary. The infection came back with pain worse than ever. Vadim could no longer drive. Fortunately, his older brother was able to come and get him to try to drive him cross-country back to Sacramento.

Nataliya described her feelings when he was driving: “I was always waiting for him to like come home after trucking . . . . I wouldn’t see him for weeks and just that moment knowing that he’s coming home, it just makes you happy.” But this time, Nataliya would not enjoy that feeling.

Vadim’s brother saw his health was fading so they stopped in Utah at the nearest hospital.

Nataliya said, “I told him to come home faster and he’s like I know, I’m trying, and so, yea, he didn’t get to make it home.”

However, he did live long enough for Nataliya to be at his side when he passed.

From Checkups to Root Canal, Dentistry Prevents Tragedy

Tragedies like Vadim’s happen all too often. Especially when you know that they are almost entirely preventable with general dentistry. As we noted, it was likely that Vadim’s tooth infection had been developing for a long time.

Regular dental checkups can detect small cavities long before they become serious problems. These cavities can be treated simply with a small filling.

If you neglect a checkups, the cavity can begin to grow, and you’ll begin to feel it. Often, you may not feel the toothache until the damage has progressed to the interior of the tooth, called the pulp. At this point, a root canal is necessary to treat the tooth infection. This is also the point at which the situation can turn dire, sometimes very quickly.

Once the tooth is infected, infection can spread to the blood, the brains, or, as in Vadim’s case, to the lungs. Once that happens, the infection can be hard to stop. We don’t know what kind of treatment Vadim received when he stopped in Oklahoma (he didn’t stop at our office), but even if he did get a root canal at this point, it was too late.

So, if you are overdue for a checkup, save yourself and your family the concern about a potential tragedy: schedule a checkup today.

If you are looking for a dentist in Tulsa that offers a full range of general dentistry services from checkups to root canal, please call (918) 528-3330 today for an appointment at élan by Dr. Meghan Hodges.

By |February 8th, 2017|General Dentistry, Root Canal|