Oral Pathology

The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign for a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer. The following can be signs at the beginning of a pathological process or cancerous growth:

  • Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth
  • A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
  • A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness and/or difficulty in chewing or swallowing

These changes can be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate, and gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face, and/or neck. Pain does not always occur with pathology, and curiously, is not often associated with oral cancer. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may also be at risk for oral cancer.

At OC Oral & Facial Surgical Specialists, we use state-of-the-art technology to perform minimally invasive pathological surgery.  Many times, Dr. Kim can perform pathological surgery, which was traditionally performed on the face, through the mouth leaving no scars on the face.  He uses CAD-CAM (3-D) technology to make the surgery precise, painless and scar-free.  

We would recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly. Remember that your mouth is one of your body’s most important warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. Please contact us so we can assist you with any questions or concerns. 

Patient Example

This is a patient of Dr. Kim’s who had a recurrent tumor in his lower jaw requiring removal of a portion of his lower jaw.  A stereolithic model (made from a 3-D scan) was made prior to surgery and the surgery was performed digitally prior to the actual surgery. 




When comparing the actual piece to the digitally created model, anyone can appreciate the accuracy of this planning.  Furthermore, we can be sure the whole tumor was removed (planned prior to surgery) instead of having to go back for a second surgery.