11 Things It Can Mean If Your Teeth Fall Out In Your Dreams
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 wiggling and falling out, or maybe you were spitting them out one. It's all gross, but dental dreams come with all sorts of interesting meaning. And knowing how to interpret them may even help you deal with your current daytime 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," Robert Betancourt, MA, a professional counselor, tells Bustle, and you may even want to use them 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 going awry in your waking life. Dreams about your teeth falling out happen to be some of the most common — and symbolic — so read on below for some interesting explanations, according to experts.
1. You've Been Struggling With An Inferiority Complex
If you've been feeling embarrassed and/or inferior lately, and it's been taking a toll on your overall self-esteem, it could show up in the form of dental-related 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," Khi Armand, a shamanic practitioner, tells Bustle.
If that's the case, it may be time to be a little more assertive in your waking life, to see if that makes a difference in what you dream about. By looking out for yourself and your own needs — and possibly saying "no" to things you aren't 100 percent invested in — you can take some of that power back and feel more in control.
2. You're Worried About Saying The Wrong Thing
Teeth dreams can also be interpreted as a fear of saying something embarrassing or literally "spitting out" the wrong thing, Susan Leigh, a counselor and hypnotherapist, tells Bustle. And when you think about teeth dreams, and how they're often about them falling out in a dramatic way, one by one, this interpretation can make a lot of sense.
Do you have an important networking event coming up, or a big date? If so, this type of dream may crop up from your subconscious. To ease your worry, it may help to prepare yourself with some talking points ahead of time, so you can go into the situation feeling more confident.
3. Someone In Your Family Is Sick
Teeth-related dreams can 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 that, Leigh says.
If this is the case, it can help to find a coping mechanism or talk with a therapist, to help ease your mind. Any type of change, and especially a change that'll impact your family, can be difficult to go through. And yet, by going to therapy, you can not only talk about your concerns, but also learn ways to take good care of yourself during these tough times.
4. You're Not Feeling Great About Your Appearance
Since a clean smile is so closely tied to attractiveness in our culture, it makes sense that dreams about rotting teeth may point to self-esteem issues, or reveal an underlying worry that you somehow don't measure up.
According to the dream interpretation site DreamMoods, your teeth help convey an image of attractiveness and play an important role in the game of flirtation, which is why these tooth-y dreams may even stem from a fear of rejection.
"Your smile is indicative of how you are able to face the world," Tracee Dunblazier, a spiritual empath and author, tells Bustle. And one that is imperfect — or literally falling apart — can certainly reflect how you're feeling.
5. The Thought Of Getting Older Scares You
Dreams about teeth can be a sign you're worried about someone's health, or your appearance. But they're also strongly associated with aging, which is why you may find yourself having this dream if you're currently thinking about getting older.
In fact, according to DreamMoods, a researcher found that women going through menopause reported frequent dreams about teeth, which may be related to their thoughts about getting older. But it is, of course, something you can think about at any age though.
"People, as they age, tend to spend more time and resources on their teeth," Dunblazier says, and that concern can transfer to your subconscious. If you have a big birthday coming up, or are worried about being older, toothy dreams may follow.
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," Lisa Allen, MH, an astrology expert, tells Bustle.
Going off that interpretation, 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. Cut to you dreaming about wiggly, loose teeth. Or waking up from a nightmare where they all fall out.
7. You Got In Trouble At The Dentist's Office
Dentists are notorious for shaming their patients into flossing more often, or being stern about brushing more regularly. That is their job, after all. But if yours recently made you feel bad about your dental health, Betancourt says the shame might show up in your dream. (Yes, sometimes dreams can be that literal.)
It may be a way of processing the fact you haven't been taking great care of your mouth. But it can also serve as motivation. If your health concerns are literally keeping you up at night, go ahead and put a little more effort in brushing and flossing before bed. Give your dental health an upgrade, and these types of dreams will likely fade away.
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," Dunblazier says. "You can look to the current conflict or struggles in waking life to see where making a decision is beneficial."
If this dream is recurring, and it's freaking you out, take that as your cue to make that decision once and for all. While the right choice isn't always clear, sometimes you just have to do yourself a favor and pick one, just so you don't have to think about it anymore.
9. You Need To Eat More Nutrition-Packed Food
"Traditionally, it was thought that dreaming that you did not have teeth [represented] malnutrition or [not eating nutrient-rich foods]," DreamMoods noted. So if you aren't eating multiple different foods, it makes sense why your body may try to alert you with sickly dreams whilst you sleep.
That said, the meaning won't always be clear. "When you have dreams where your teeth are falling out, the symbolism is often metaphorical and refers to the need for some sort of decision to be made or loss to avert," Dunblazier says.
It'll be up to you to whether you pay attention to your dreams — which you might want to do, especially if they're vivid and recurring — and see if they inspire a change.
10. You're Having Trouble Sharing Your Thoughts
If you think about it, teeth truly are a symbol of communication. (They are in your mouth, after all). And that's why dreaming about them might just mean you're having issues expressing yourself.
As Annette Goggio, MPH, EEMCP, an energy medicine expert, tells Bustle, 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, so that you can sleep more peacefully at night.
This is another case where therapy may come in handy. If you can chat about what's bothering you, you may find some relief, as well as some coping skills, that can help you move past whatever's been holding you back.
11. You're About To Make A Major Life Change
Major life changes and the feeling of "time moving on" can trigger teeth dreams, too, Leigh says. 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.
Your teeth falling out is a weird way for your brain to express change, but it's a fairly common one all the same. In general, teeth dreams are a way for your subconscious mind to communicate with you while you sleep. So get yourself a dream journal and make sure you listen. And if you feel like these dreams are a sign you've got something deeper going on, don't hesitate to reach out to a friend or therapist for a little more advice.
Robert Betancourt, MA, a professional counselor
Khi Armand, shamanic practitioner
Susan Leigh, counselor and hypnotherapist
Lisa Allen, MH, astrology expert
Annette Goggio, MPH, EEMCP, energy medicine expert
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