Intimacy and sex

This section will introduce a concept that may, if you are a patient or a carer be very obvious but, if you are a clinician may never have occurred to you. The mouth is a sexual organ and any process or intervention which interferes with its normal function will have a profound impact on both intimacy and sexuality.

We will introduce these concepts, illustrate how intimacy and sex are both distinct and overlapping issues, outline how disease of the oral and maxillofacial area or its treatment may affect these, be assessed and treated using well established techniques of psychosexual therapy at a basic, intermediate and advanced level.

We will also touch on how research into these complex quality of life issues may be progressed. While the data comes from cancer patients, it may be applicable to non-cancer patients with similar physical and/or emotional issues.