Going into the game, Phil Parkinson was forced to make one change to the starting line up, bringing in Antonee Robinson at left back in place of the injured Andrew Taylor.
Adam Le Fondre also missed out after picking up an injury in the pre-match warm up, and was replaced by Jeff King.
Wanderers started brightly and had the first chance of the game just after the five minute mark. Gary Madine's knocked the ball into the path of Mark Beevers, but his shot flew harmlessly wide of Ruiter's goal.
At the other end, Callum McManaman saw his penalty claims waved away after being challenged off the ball by Antonee Robinson. Aiden McGeady then tried his luck cutting on his left foot, but his goalbound effort was deflected away by Mark Beevers.
Wanderers grew back into the game and Gary Madine had a couple half chances to score, the best of which was a header that went straight at Ruiter.
Only a minute later, Bolton Wanderers were ahead. Madine was involved again, heading the ball down into the path of Sammy Ameobi, who rifled the ball into the bottom corner of the goal from twenty-five yards. 1-0 Bolton. It was a superb goal, the type of which has become a regular thing for Ameobi.
Just before half time, Sunderland were level. N'Dong's pass through the middle found Lewis Grabban, who buried the ball past an out rushing Ben Alnwick. 1-1.
At the start of the second half, Simon Grayson brought on James Vaughan for on loan Crystal Palace midfielder, Jonny Williams.
Five minutes after his introduction, Vaughan had the first chance of the half, trying a spectacular overhead kick from just inside the box. Thankfully, it flew harmlessly over the bar.
Shortly after, Vaughan failed to connect with a dangerous Lewis Grabban cross.
Just before the hour mark, Sunderland were ahead. Bryan Oviedo was just onside to pass the ball to Lewis Grabban, who only had to tap the ball into a gaping open goal. 2-1 Sunderland.
Prior to the game last night, Sunderland had won just once when coming back from behind at The Stadium of Light in their last 57 games there.
And it looked like that trend would continue three minutes later, as Gary Madine beat Ruiter from close range to level the score at 2-2.
Bolton weren't finished there and five minutes after the equaliser, Karl Henry scored with a well placed volley to give Wanderers their second lead of the night. Credit for that goal has to go to Adam Armstrong and most importantly, Antonee Robinson. The Everton youngster beat Ruiter to the ball before firing a pinpoint cross towards Henry.
Unfortunately, Wanderers once again couldn't hold on to the lead, and Sunderland were level with ten minutes to go.
Substitute Paddy McNair, who was playing just his second game since coming back from an eleven month stint out injured, fired home from the edge of the box to rescue a point for Sunderland.
The game would go on to end 3-3. Moments after the final whistle, Simon Grayson was sacked, having only won one league game during his time as the Mackem boss.
The point for Bolton extends their unbeaten run to four games, but the Whites have squandered leads in their last three.
Next up for Wanderers is a game back home against Norwich City on Saturday.