BACKGROUND: Metastases to the oral/oropharynx are very rare and their diagnosis is challenging. METHODS: We reviewed pathologic data for malignant tumors of the oral/oropharynx that were diagnosed at the Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea from 1995 until 2010. RESULTS: Twenty-nine cases of oral/oropharyngeal metastases were retrieved, comprising 2.0% of 1,445 malignancies. The most common primary sites were the liver and lung, followed by the stomach, colon, breast, prostate, and kidney. The gingiva was the most common metastatic site, followed by the tonsil/pillar, mandible, tongue, tongue base, palate mucosa, mouth floor, and buccal mucosa. Intervals between detection of primary tumors and metastases were variable, from -1 month to 104 months. Ten patients with lung (7 cases), liver, stomach, and kidney carcinomas manifested with oral/oropharyngeal metastases as the first sign of systemic metastases. The majority of patients had died within one year of the onset of an oral/oropharyngeal metastasis, but exceptionally long-lived cases were also present. The survival periods of patients with lung cancers were longer than those of patients with non-pulmonary tumors. CONCLUSIONS: An awareness of the incidence, common primary sites, metastatic subsites, and metastatic courses or patterns of oral/oropharyngeal metastases is helpful in the diagnosis of metastatic carcinomas.