pa·thol·o·gy [pÉ™ thóllÉ™jee]

Pathology is defined as: the processes of a particular disease, observable either with the naked eye or by microscopy, or, at a molecular level, as inferred from biochemical tests. A condition that is not normal: any condition that is a deviation from the normal. The study of disease: the scientific study of the nature, origin, progress, and cause of disease.


The inside of the mouth is lined with a special type of skin that is smooth and pink in color. It is called mucosa and any alteration in its normal appearance could be a warning sign. The following can be signs at the beginning of a disease process or cancerous growth: reddish or whitish patches, a sore that fails to heal and bleeds, or a lump on the inside of the mouth. 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 disease. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may be at risk.