Los Angeles, Koreatown, Califorina Dr. Mark S. Laska, DDS

Phone: (213) 386-3348
Fax:      (213) 386-3357



Mid Wilshire Dentistry
3460 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 210
Los Angeles, CA 90010


Dr. Mark Laska attended U.C.L.A. for his undergraduate studies and graduated from U.S.C. School of Dentistry in 1970, and has been in private practice in Los Angeles since that time.

He has based his practice on preventative dentistry and cosmetic care, while using the latest technology, such as digital x-rays, veneers, porcelain inlays and crowns and soft tissue laser. Recently, he expanded his practice to include specialty dentists - orthodontics, periodontics, endodontics and oral surgery. This has allowed the practice to stay abreast of the newest techniques, such as implants, and Invisalign® (a clear alternative to braces) and to offer most dental procedures in one location. This method of care provides a more inclusive environment for the patient’s dental needs.

Dr. Laska has been the team dentist for the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team since 1987. He is a member of the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association, the Los Angeles Dental Society, the Academy of
General Dentistry and the Academy of Sports Dentistry.


Mouth Guards for Athletes, With Dr. Mark Laska, Mid-Wilshire Dentistry, Los Angeles, California

Athletes should wear mouth guards because they help absorb the shock from a blow to the face that might otherwise result in an injury to the mouth or jaw.  Dr. Mark Laska, of MidWilshire Dentistry in Los Angeles, California, says that a heavy collision can result in a chip or broken tooth, internal damage to a tooth, injury to the soft tissue of the mouth and in severe cases, tooth loss, concussion or even a broken jaw.

There are three types of mouth guards, the least expensive of which is commonly found in a sporting goods store.  They are available in limited sizes and offer the least amount of protection.  The most commonly used one is the borlin bite mouth guard, which also is available in limited sizes and lacks extensions, which can make for a bulky mouth guard and interfere with speaking and breathing.  A custom-designed mouth guard can be received from a dentist and is made in a laboratory.  These are often the most satisfactory for athletes and offer the best protection, comfort and retention, while interfering the least with speaking.

Mouth guards can actually improve performance, says Dr. Laska.  A natural reaction when athletes train or compete is to clench their jaw.  When this happens, a stress hormone called cortisol is released.  The Under Armour brand has a mouth guard with power wedges that prevents the teeth from clenching and pivots the jaw downward and forward, relieving pressure on the TMJ (temporomandibular joint).  By reducing the production of cortisol, an athlete can increase their strength, endurance and speed reaction time, adds Dr. Laska.  Additionally, those wedges open the airway slightly allowing the athlete to breath better and get more oxygen to the tissues.  This prevents lactic acid build up, allowing an athlete to recover quicker and perform better afterwards.  Dr. Laska notes that mouth guards can be used for any sport.

Dr. Mark Laska, who has been the team dentist for the Los Angeles Clippers since 1987, treats his patients at his Mid Wilshire Dental Care practice in Los Angeles, California.  Dr. Laska is also a leading sleep expert with Sleep Better TV.


Importance of Early Oral Cancer Screenings, with Dr. Mark Laska, Wilshire Dental Care, Los Angeles, California

While there are still the common risk factors for oral cancer, to include tobacco use, chewing tobacco use and heavy alcohol use, there is new reason for concern as oral cancer is now being found in the younger population of both men and women, who don't smoke or drink heavily.

Dr. Mark Laska, dentist with Wilshire Dental Care in Los Angeles, California, says one reason for this is the exposure to HPV, which can be spread by intimate contact, including kissing.  There has been a fairly dramatic increase in oral cancers, with an estimated 36,000 Americans to be diagnosed this year with only slightly higher than half to live beyond 5 years.  With early detection, says Dr. Laska, this can be dramatically reduced to a cure rate of almost 90%.

The CDC now recommends that all people over the age of 17 be screened annually, says Laska.  The diagnosis is best done by a dentist, he says, as the signs and symptoms are often missed by the naked eye, especially in the early stages.  Using the Identafi device in his office, it uses light wave technology to detect abnormalities in the early stages and takes under 5 minutes to complete.

Dr. Mark Laska, who has been the team dentist for the Los Angeles Clippers since 1987, treats his patients at his Mid Wilshire Dental Care practice in Los Angeles, California.  Dr. Laska is also a leading sleep expert with Sleep Better TV.




Sleep Apnea, Featuring NBA's LA Clippers Dentist, Dr. Mark Laska, Mid Wilshire Dental Care, Los Angeles, California

As the official dentist of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, Dr. Mark Laska sees the same problems existing in NBA players as everybody else, such as sleep apnea, a sleep breathing disorder.  A sleep breathing disorder is a breathing problem that occurs while someone is sleeping and can range in severity from mild snoring to severe sleep apnea.  The result is from an obstruction in the oral or nasal airway.  Dr. Laska says that when you fall asleep, your airway relaxes and can collapse on itself, creating the obstruction that results in a sleep breathing disorder.

Snoring is considered to be the sign of an onset or existence of a sleep breathing disorder, according to Dr. Laska.  The sound comes from the tissues relaxing and then resting against one another and vibrating as the sleeper breathes.  This is considered a partial obstruction, says Dr. Laska, and for those who snore, about 35% have an obstructive issue as well, the most severe being obstructive sleep apnea.

An apnic event is a complete obstruction of the airway for 10 seconds or longer while sleeping.  Dr. Laska uses home sleep tests, given to his patients at Mid Wilshire Dental Care in Los Angeles, California.  These home sleep tests determine if a patient is snoring and how loudly, in addition to how many apnic events they have in a one hour period of time.

Dr. Laska says there are many health risks associated with sleep apnea, to include an increased risk for stroke, heart attacks, increased blood pressure, diabetes, dementia and even cancer.  Additionally, due to the increased daytime drowsiness associated with sleep apnea, these patients are more prone to accidents, such as automobile accidents.

According to Dr. Laska, a study done at the University of Wisconsin over an 18 year period of time, people with untreated sleep apnea had an increased mortality rate than those without sleep apnea.  For those with mild sleep apnea, that rate was 10%, for moderate sleep apnea 20% and for severe sleep apnea, the rate increased to over 40%.

Dentists can treat patients with sleep apnea after they've been properly diagnosed by a sleep specialist.  Dr. Laska says he can fabricate an oral appliance, which is quite effective in mild to moderate sleep apnea.  With over 100 types to choose from, most have the smae technology of advancing the jaw forward and thus the tongue forward, so it doesn't obstruct the airway.

At Mid Wildshire Dental Care, Dr. Laska chooses from 4-5 different types of oral appliances, depending on the needs of the patient.  He also says that 75% of CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device users never use them, making oral appliances more effective because they are easier to use.

For an NBA player who travels quite a bit, oral appliances make an effective, easy option, as they are smaller and easier to travel with.

Dr. Mark Laska, who has been the team dentist for the Los Angeles Clippers since 1987, treats his patients at his Mid Wilshire Dental Care practice in Los Angeles, California.  Dr. Laska is also a leading sleep expert with Sleep Better TV.



Treating Sleep Apnea, with Dr. Mark Laska, of Mid Wilshire Dental Care in Los Angeles, California

The definition of sleep apnea is "without breath while sleeping," according to Los Angeles dentist Dr. Mark Laska, who says that during sleep, muscles relax, including the ones that control the tongue and throat.  Sleep apnea, he adds, is usually caused by an obstruction in the throat that causes a person to stop breathing for 10 seconds or more.

The degree of sleep apnea is based on how many times you stop breathing within a one hour period of time, Dr. Laska says.  Mild sleep apnea is 1-15 times per hour, moderate sleep apnea is 15-30 times per hour and severe sleep apnea is over 30 times per hour.

Dr. Laska refers to recent studies suggesting that sleep apnea causes an increased risk of stroke, heart attacks, high blood pressure, diabetes, dementia and even cancer and because sleep apnea patients are more tired during the day, they are more prone to accidents, especially automobile accidents.

Dentists are often the first in line to screen patients.  Acid reflux, scalloped tongue, large tongue and small jaw and bruxism are all signs a patient may have sleep apnea, says Dr. Laska.  In Dr. Laska's dental practice, Mid Wilshire Dental Care, in Los Angeles, California, patients fill out a form answeringSource: questions that relate to sleep and sleep disorders, that indicate a patient's risk for sleep apnea.  For patients that show signs of risk, Dr. Laska offers a complimentary home sleep study.  From that study, Dr. Laska can get an interpretation of the person's sleep habits, including how many times they stop breathing, the oxygen levels during sleep and how loud they snore.  From those readings, he can give his patients recommendations and proper referrals for treatment.

Dr. Laska says that there are three types of treatment for sleep apnea.  For the more severe cases and as a last resort, surgery is an option.  A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device, which is a medical device that forces air down the nasal airway, is very effective but about 75% of patients don't use it, as it's cumbersome, noisy, uncomfortable, rashes on the face can develop and it is difficult to travel with.  Dr. Laska uses a third option, an FDA-approved dental appliance, which is now the preferred method for treating mild to moderate sleep apnea.  The dental appliance can also be used when a CPAP is not tolerated, even in severe cases.  The main principal behind the appliance, says Dr. Laska, is to allow respiration to occur naturally by advancing the lower jaw forward.  Dr. Laska has found these appliances to be very effective and his patients appreciate its ease of use.

In prescribing a custome-fit dental appliance for his patients, Dr. Laska will take impressions of the patient's mouth and take a bite relationship using specialized equipment in his office.  Based on those things, he is able to establish how far he needs to move the jaw forward in order to open up the airway.  

Dr. Mark Laska, who has been the team dentist for the Los Angeles Clippers since 1987, treats his patients at his Mid Wilshire Dental Care practice in Los Angeles, California.  Dr. Laska is also a leading sleep expert with Sleep Better TV.


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