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Dreaming of teeth falling is one of the most common types of dreams. Although they’re surprisingly common, why they occur and what they mean are the subject of much study and debate. Such dreams tend to be distressing, evoking a sense of panic and anxiety upon waking up.
Tooth loss dreams are often recurring and are associated with anxiety, psychological distress, and dissatisfaction in the dreamer’s waking life.
Why Are Falling Teeth Dreams So Common?
Dreams about falling teeth have fascinated humans since ancient times, with written records of such dreams going back to the second century. Reports of these dreams can be found around the globe and yet researchers aren’t sure why these dreams are so universal.
One study found that dreams about falling teeth were common among people who were “significantly more anxious and depressed, had lower ego strength, were less satisfied with their lives, felt they had less control over their lives, and felt helpless”.
Teeth are an important aspect of our personality, representing health, nourishment, and identity. A bright smile with all teeth intact is associated with confidence, happiness, and wellbeing. Teeth are the gateway to our bodies, as it’s by chewing that we’re able to nourish our bodies. With all this emphasis on the importance of teeth, losing our teeth in one way or another in dreams can indicate universal emotions, such as distress, worry, and anxiety.
What Do Teeth Falling Dreams Mean?
What’s interesting about teeth falling out dreams is that, unlike most dreams, they aren’t an indication of our waking life experiences. They don’t fit into the Continuity Hypothesis – which says that the content of our dreams come from our waking experiences.
After all, how many of us have heard of a person’s teeth falling out, rotting, or breaking for no reason? To put this in context, most dreams are made up of what we experience over the course of a day. In fact, much of our dream content is simply a reflection of our daily encounters and experiences. In the case of tooth loss dreams, this isn’t the case.
So, what do these dreams tell us about ourselves and our situation in life? Here are some possible interpretations.
1- A personal, professional, or material loss:
Falling teeth in dreams is often seen as a harbinger of great loss. This could include the death of someone close to you, or the loss of a home or a relationship.
In some countries, such as Sri Lanka, to dream of teeth falling out is considered an omen of death – and many believe that if you have such a dream, you will soon hear of the death of someone you know.
2- Anxiety and stress:
If you’re facing psychological distress, such as anxiety and stress, in your waking life, this can manifest in your dreams as teeth falling out.
Often these emotions are triggered if you’re undergoing major changes in your life. These can include moving to a new city, breaking up with someone, or changing jobs. Worrying about how to handle these changes effectively in your waking life can lead to dreams about losing your teeth.
This view is so common that even the Disney movie Inside Out features a scene where the main character, who’s going through major stressful changes in her life, has a nightmare of losing her teeth.
3- Major changes and transformations:
As mentioned above, dreams of teeth falling out may signify changes and transformations in your life. Within these changes, there could also be some amount of fear or worry that’s being noted by your subconscious. Teeth falling out in your dreams, therefore, could mean you’re feeling powerless or anxious about these changes in your life.
4- The beginning of a new chapter:
On another note, falling teeth could mark the beginning of a new chapter. As we say, when one door closes, another opens. So, it could be that you’re losing something insignificant to gain something profound.
5- Low self-esteem:
Dreams about tooth loss can be an indication of how you perceive yourself. A sense of embarrassment or low self-esteem could be underlying these dreams. Our concern about how others feel about us and how we perceive ourselves can lead to recurring dreams of tooth loss.
6- An indication of poor oral hygiene:
Sometimes, a dream about teeth falling has little to do with anxiety and stress and more to do with your oral hygiene or dental irritation. For example, if you’re prone to clenching or grinding your teeth during sleep, you may dream about losing your teeth.
The dream could be a reminder to make that appointment with your dentist you’ve been avoiding for so long. It could be that you already know how badly you need to visit your dentist but lack the motivation to do so. These dreams can simply be about dental irritation, urging you to address any issues you’re your dental health.
These dreams intend to invoke concern towards yourself and invite healing. In a way, this is our subconscious nudging our conscious state to take control.
Common Dream Scenarios of Falling Teeth
There are many ways that you may see your teeth falling out or becoming damaged in your dreams. Your dream may have included one of the following scenarios:
- Dreams about only one tooth falling.
- Dreams about two or three teeth falling.
- Dreams about all the teeth falling at once.
- Dreams of teeth rotting.
- Dreams of teeth breaking.
- Dreams about you pulling out a loose tooth.
- Dreams about teeth falling out after a light tap.
- Dreams about teeth falling while you were in the middle of a difficult task.
- Dreams about teeth falling and you couldn’t find them.
- Dreams about teeth are crumbling.
- Dreams about teeth falling out in the dentist’s office.
Recurring Teeth Falling Dreams
If you’re having recurring dreams about your teeth falling out, this could indicate unresolved conflicts in your life. Recurring dreams tend to occur during times of stress and upheaval. It’s best to address these issues, either on your own or with the help of a therapist.
Dreams are unconsciously communicating to us, either preparing us or reminding us of aspects of our waking lives. While interpretations are an excellent way of understanding dreams, it’s only when we apply them to a broader picture of ourselves that we can connect them to the events of our lives effectively.
As we have explored, teeth falling out in dreams signify both positive and negative outcomes. However, there’s no need to panic if you’ve had one of these dreams. As Freud said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. It might just have been a dream about teeth and nothing else.
If, however, you’re having recurring dreams of falling teeth, you might want to talk to a professional in order to address any underlying issues that may be causing them.