A Maine teenager ended up dying after he contracting a flesh-eating bacteria disease just a few days after he had underwent routine dental surgery, explained the Maine Chief Medical Examiner. Benjamin LaMontagne, age 18, passed away on February 22, three days after he had the procedure to have two of his wisdom teeth, which had become impacted, removed.
He died because of complications of cervical necrotizing fasciitis which is more commonly known as a flesh-eating bacterium. It devastates body fat, skin tissue and muscles and most usually enters the human body through some sort of break in the skin, such as a scrape or cut. The disease can be caused by numerous types of bacteria living inside in the throat, but the infection is extremely rare.
Dr. John Molinari, who works as an infection control professional for the American Dental Association, spoke to the media and said that he had never of anything like what happened to LaMontagne, with necrotizing fasciitis ending up as a result of normal oral surgery tooth removals.
The teenager man was known to be a dedicated student who played the clarinet, loved to sail and enjoyed to go out fishing for lobster. He died back in February of this year. Benjamin reported having pain and swelling after he had the oral surgery but this increased rapidly. When it became so intense that Benjamin stopped breathing, his mother rushed to call 911. However he ended up dying at his home about 1 a.m. His father reportedly told the media that if anyone was able to say he or she had lived a full life after 18 short years, it was Benjamin. The father added that fact made it even more painful to have had his son taken from their family so soon.
The disease is frequently caused by different types of bacteria, most usually being group A Streptococcus. This can be typically treated, but in many cases the infection creates toxins that destroy the tissue they poison. Dentists and oral surgeons follow well established procedures in order to limit the exposure to infection, including sterilizing the instruments they use with high heat and also by wearing masks, gloves and eye wear. These precautions usually take care of the vast majority of what could possibly happen, explained Dr. Molinari.
Dr. Thomas Dodson, who works in the Department of Oral Surgery at the University of Washington, explained that in over two decades of working at a Massachusetts hospital, there was not a single death ever recorded in any of the patients who came in to have their wisdom teeth removed.
The dentist had not examined Benjamin’s case but had decades of personal experience. He stated that he had been trained as an epidemiologist, and that he said he had never read about a death anywhere that he could recall due to this type of event.
Benjamin ended up dying after he contracting a flesh-eating bacteria disease just a few days after he underwent routine dental surgery. The teenager passed away on February 22, three days after he had the procedure to have two of his wisdom teeth, which had become impacted, removed.
By Kimberly Ruble