As far as nighttime experiences go, few are stranger than dreams about your teeth falling out. Have you ever had one of these mini nightmares? You may have dreamt about a single tooth falling out, or maybe you spat them out one by one into your hands. It's gross, but dental dreams come with all sorts of meaning. Knowing how to interpret them can even help you deal with your current worries and insecurities.
Of course, this is true for most dreams. If you take the time to pay attention — and write them down when you wake up — dreams can be used as a sort of window into your subconscious. "During REM deep sleep, the brain shifts into a more relaxed, less touchy mode and uses symbolic language and imagery to address challenges and issues in one's waking life," says professional counselor Robert Betancourt, MA, in an email to Bustle.
He tells me dreams can and should be used as a call-to-action. If you can interpret your dreams, they can point you in the direction you need to go to solve whatever's wrong in your waking life. Dreams about your teeth falling out happen to be some of the most common — and symbolic — so read on for some interesting explanations.
1. You've Been Struggling With An Inferiority Complex
If you've been feeling embarrassed and/or inferior lately, it could show up in the form of dental dreams. "Teeth falling out in a dream is often a sign about loss of personal power, whether it is being actively given away or lost through mis-dealings with others in our lives," says shamanic practitioner Khi Armand, in an email to Bustle. If that's the case, it may be time to be a little more assertive in your waking life.
2. You're Worried About Saying The Wrong Thing
Teeth dreams can also be interpreted as a fear of saying the wrong thing, Leigh tells me, as you may worry about literally "spitting out" or saying something embarrassing. Do you have an important networking event, or a big date coming up? If so, it may ease your worry to prepare yourself with some talking points.
3. Someone In Your Family Is Sick
Tooth-related dreams could also point to an underlying worry about a family member's health. If someone you love is sick, or nearing the end of their life, your dreams may start to reflect it, Leigh tells me. If this is the case, it can help to find a coping mechanism or talk with a therapist
4. You're Not Feeling Great About Your Appearance
Since clean, healthy teeth are so closely tied to attractiveness, it makes sense that rotting ones may point to self-esteem issues. As noted on the dream interpreting website DreamMoods.com, "Your teeth help to convey an image of attractiveness and play an important role in the game of flirtation ... Thus, such dreams may stem from a fear of rejection, sexual impotence, or the consequences of getting old."
5. The Thought Of Getting Older Scares You
Again, losing your teeth is definitely related to aging, so this one may not come as much of a shock. But there does exist some interesting research that's worth mentioning. "A dream [researcher] found that women in menopause report ... frequent dreams about teeth," noted DreamMoods.com. "This points to teeth dreams as being related to getting older and/or feeling unattractive and less feminine." Sad, but true.
6. Money Issues Are Stressing You Out
Money has a way of making people feel secure, so a lack of it can really prey on your subconscious. "If we think about it, our teeth are a very strong part of our body structure. We feel safe when we have something to proverbially sink our teeth into," says astrology expert Lisa Allen, MH, in an email to Bustle. If you don't have enough savings (i.e., that "structure" that makes life feel more secure) the worry may show up in your dreams.
7. You Got In Trouble At The Dentist's Office
Dentists are notorious for shaming their patients into flossing more often. If yours recently made you feel bad about your dental health, Betancourt tells me the shame might show up in your dream. (Yes, sometimes dreams can be that literal.)
8. You Have A Big Decision Coming Up
Dreams about teeth falling out can also symbolize an impending major life decision. "So, to have them fall out relates to letting go of or addressing the obstacles to being decisive," spiritual empath and author Tracee Dunblazier tells Bustle. "One can look to the current conflict or struggles in waking life to see where making a decision is beneficial."
9. You Need To Eat A Healthier Diet
Here's another literal one for you. "Traditionally, it was thought that dreaming that you did not have teeth [represented] malnutrition or poor diet," noted DreamMoods.com. If you aren't healthy in your waking life, it makes sense that your body may try to signal you with sickly dreams whilst you sleep.
10. You're Having Trouble Sharing Your Thoughts
If you think about it, teeth truly are a symbol of communication. Dreaming about them might mean you're having issues expressing yourself. As energy medicine expert Annette Goggio, MPH, EEMCP tells me, it could also mean you've been "chewing on a problem" that you're having trouble understanding. In both cases, it's a sign you need to deal with whatever's bugging you in "real" life.
11. You're About To Make A Major Life Change
As Leigh tells me, major life changes and the feeling of "time moving on" can trigger teeth dreams, too. Are you about to make a big move, or start a new job? Then don't be surprised if you fall asleep and dream about all your teeth falling out.
It's certainly strange, but teeth dreams are one way your subconscious communicates with you while you sleep. So get yourself a dream journal and make sure you listen.
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