KUALA LUMPUR, 2 June 2016: Amid widespread shock and disbelief over the death of Datuk Syed Alman Zain Syed Alwi, 44, after dental treatment at a clinic, medical experts say such risks have always been there – but taken too much for granted due to faith in the capabilities of modern medicine.
American medical expert Dr. Crystal Baxter said dental deaths are more common than you might imagine and infections are one of the leading causes of dental deaths, reported CBS News – when commenting on the deaths of three males – ages 14 to 21 who had their wisdom teeth extracted 16 to 72 hours before they died.
She said our mouths have more bacteria than any other part of our body, and that bacteria can get into the bloodstream and become deadly. And the worse condition a patient’s mouth is in, the higher the chances of complications.
“The patient could develop a post-operative infection and that could lead to fatality. You get swelling of the brain and then you get either brain damage or brain death.”
Other causes of death following dental procedures can range from allergic reactions to anaesthesia to inhaling blood into the lungs which could cause suffocation. Reactions to prescribed drugs are also a cause, she added.
The shock of what many see as a routine procedure lke dental surgery isn’t new – similar disbelief rocked the Malaysian public back in 1998 when a prominent businessman died from sinus surgery.
Datuk Wan Adli Wan Ibrahim, 57, was in a coma for a week after the sinus operation before breathing his last.