Introduction: Post-operative frenectomy care is often focused on active wound management (AWM) and followed by neuromuscular re-education (NMR). The standard practices of AWM are varied amongst providers. AWM is often expected to be performed by caregivers who have little to no experience with AWM. In contrast, NMR is individualized to patient needs and has been emerging in external evidence as a beneficial modality for the functional implications of tethered oral tissues (TOTs). It is guided by licensed professionals but is not often accessible or recommended.

New Perspective: AWM and NMR often are similar in execution but differ in goals. AWM is focused on wound debridement and avoiding scarring or reattachment of the frena, whereas NMR is focused on airway, sleep, feeding, swallowing, speech, and optimal orofacial growth. AWM has little consensus or external evidence compared to NMR which has both internal and external evidence. AWM for oral care is also limited by scope of practice (SOP) which few licensed professionals have. NMR has a broader range of professionals such as International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs), speech-language pathologists (SLPs), physical and occupational therapists (PT/OT) and registered dental hygienists (RDHs).

Conclusions: NMR has multiple benefits post-operatively, is individualized and performed by multiple professionals. It is suggested that release providers consider gentle, functionally directed post-operative NMR techniques that are individualized, and research the impact these approaches have on wound care goals.


tethered oral tissue, frenectomy, scope of practice, active wound management, neuromuscular re-education, internal and external evidence