Interpreting Nightmares About Teeth Part 1: My Teeth are Falling Out 


Do you have odd dreams? As a dentist I always hear about recurring nightmares that deal with teeth, whether it’s the teeth falling out, rotting or just breaking. I have to admit I too have these nightmares from time to time. That’s exactly why I wanted to have some fun and write about this phenomenon in a three part series.

“My Teeth Are Falling Out”

The typical dream scenarios include having your teeth crumble in your hands, fall out one by one with just a light tap, grow crooked or start to rot. Such dreams are not only horrifying and shocking, but they often leave you with a lasting image of the dream. So what does it mean?

One theory is that dreams about your teeth reflect your anxieties about your appearance and how others perceive you. Your teeth help to convey an image of attractiveness and play an important role in the game of flirtation, whether it is flashing those pearly whites, kissing or making out. Thus, such dreams may stem from a fear of rejection, sexual impotence or the consequences of getting old. To support this notion, a dream research found women in menopause report to have frequent dreams about teeth. This points to teeth dreams as being related to getting older and/or feeling unattractive and less feminine. Teeth are an important feature to your attractiveness and how you are presented to others. Caring about how you look is natural and healthy.

Another rationalization for these falling teeth dreams may be rooted in your fear of being embarrassed or making a fool of yourself in some situation. These dreams are an over-exaggeration of your worries and anxieties. Perhaps you feel you are unprepared for the task at hand. However, you will find your worries are unfounded in most cases. Sometimes what plays out in your mind is far worse than what is reality.

Teeth are used to bite, tear, chew and gnaw. In this regard, teeth symbolize power. The loss of teeth in your dream may be from a sense of powerlessness. Are you lacking power in some current situation? Perhaps you are having difficulties expressing yourself or getting your point across. You feel frustrated when your voice is not being heard. You may be experiencing feelings of inferiority and a lack of self-confidence in some situation or relationship in your life. This dream may be an indication you need to be more assertive and believe in the importance of what you have to say.

Traditionally, it was thought dreaming that you did not have teeth, represented malnutrition or poor diet. This notion may still be applicable to some dreamers.

What do teeth falling out in a dream mean?

Teeth falling out in dreams symbolize change.

They indicate fear of losing something important.

For Freud, teeth falling out in dreams pointed to anxiety about sexual repression and the desire to be nurtured or fear of castration for men.

This disturbing symbol also tends to show up in dreams during important moments of transition in the dreamer’s life.

Jung and many other contemporary dream interpreters have a wider perspective and focus their analysis on symbols of personal power and the ability to renew oneself. For instance, they prefer to talk about the representation of loss or the process of releasing the old to give place to the new, as opposed to focusing only on more Freudian sexual references.

As a general rule, teeth falling out in dreams symbolize transition times. This type of dream echoes the emotional disturbances you may be experiencing as you or your environment are going through a period of change.

Your interpretation may focus on a few negative meanings, such as insecurity or fear of loss. Keep in mind this symbol also has positive meanings, including a new direction in life and renewal.

Ask yourself these questions:

Are you going through a turning point in your life? A big birthday? Concerns about getting old?

Are you going through some kind of physiological change like puberty or menopause?

Have you recently felt like you haven’t been treated as an equal, felt mistreated, been made fun of or not taken seriously?

Have you lost something or a loved one recently?

Stay tuned for part two of this three part series! Keep your nightmares from becoming a reality call LifeSmiles today to schedule your comprehensive smile evaluation. Your mouth and smile should be like a heavenly dream, not a hellish nightmare! (713) 592-9300

Dr Mitchmore is active in the community.He serves as Vice-Chairman of the Monstrose Management District. His passion is Dentistry. He has also been a City Councilman and Chairman of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s Charitable Foundation, Give Back A Smile. The foundation helps survivors of intimate partner abuse regain their smile. You can find out more about him at www.

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