Oral and maxillofacial pathology, previously termed oral pathology, is a speciality involved with the diagnosis and study of the causes and effects of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions (the mouth, the jaws and the face). It can be considered a speciality of dentistry and pathology. Oral Pathology is a closely allied speciality with oral and maxillofacial surgery and oral medicine.
The clinical evaluation and diagnosis of oral mucosal diseases are in the scope of oral & maxillofacial pathology specialists and oral medicine practitioners,both disciplines of dentistry. When a microscopic evaluation is needed, a biopsy is taken, and microscopically observed by a pathologist. The American Dental Association uses the term oral and maxillofacial pathology, and describes it as "the specialty of dentistry and pathology which deals with the Nature, Identification, and management of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions. It is a science that investigates the causes, processes and effects of these diseases.