Though monsters and ghosts might first come to mind when you think of a bad dream, dreams about teeth falling out are just as scary. Whether you’ve dreamt that your teeth crumbled to pieces or you pulled them out one by one, dental issues are the stuff of nightmares — and come with all sorts of interesting meaning. So knowing how to interpret a dream about teeth falling out could help you deal with the daytime dynamics that contribute to your dental nightmares.
If you have teeth falling out dreams on the regular, that’s normal, says certified dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg. In fact, they’re one of the most common recurring dreams her clients report. These nightmares can be closely connected to what’s going on during the daytime because your brain can use symbolic language and imagery to address challenges in your waking life, says Robert Betancourt, MA, a professional counselor. Translation: Dreams can be used as a sort of window into your subconscious.
Having that peek into your psyche can help you tackle those challenges head-on, adds Loewenberg. According to her, interpreting your dreams can help point you in the right direction to solve whatever's going awry in your waking life. To help, experts explain what your dreams about teeth falling out might mean so you can start addressing them at the source.
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 self-esteem, it could show up in the form of dental-related dreams, says shamanic practitioner Khi Armand. "Teeth falling out in a dream is often a sign [for] loss of personal power, whether it is being actively given away or lost through misdealings with others in our lives," he tells Bustle.
Think about it — in the animal world, baring your teeth is a show of power and assertiveness, says Loewenberg. And a toothless sneer isn’t quite so threatening. If this rings true to you, she says it may be time to be more assertive in your waking life. By looking out for yourself and your own needs — for instance, saying "no" to things you aren't totally invested in — you can take back some of that power and feel more in control, which hopefully spells the end of your dental nightmares.
2. You're Worried About Saying The Wrong Thing
Ever have a dream where you spit out a bunch of teeth into your hand or pluck out your loose teeth one by one? That could be a sign that you fear saying something embarrassing — literally "spitting out" the wrong thing, says counselor and hypnotherapist Susan Leigh.
If this sounds like you, she recommends scanning your upcoming life events to see if one of them may be triggering your dreams about teeth falling out. Do you have an important networking event coming up, or a big date? If so, your subconscious might be anxious. 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. You're Not Feeling Great About Your Appearance
Since a clean smile is often closely tied to attractiveness, 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. "Your smile is indicative of how you are able to face the world," says Tracee Dunblazier, a spiritual empath and author. And one that is imperfect in a dream — or literally falling apart — can certainly reflect how you're feeling.
4. You're Concerned About What Others Think Of You
Just like a teeth falling out dream can indicate that you don’t like how you look on the outside, it can also signal that you don’t like who you are on the inside, says Loewenberg. If you feel super embarrassed about your appearance in dreamland but generally feel good about how you look during waking hours, then she recommends turning inward. Is there something about your character that is causing you to feel insecure? Identifying and addressing whatever personal trait your subconscious may be flagging could help relieve your nightmares, she says.
5. The Thought Of Getting Older Scares You
Teeth aren’t just connected to your appearance in the present — they're also strongly associated with aging, which is why you may find yourself having this dream if you’ve been thinking about getting older. "People, as they age, tend to spend more time and resources on their teeth," Dunblazier tells Bustle, and that concern can transfer to your subconscious. If you have a big birthday coming up or are worried about getting 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, says Lisa Allen, MH, an astrology expert. "Our teeth are a very strong part of our body structure. We feel safe when we have something to proverbially sink our teeth into," she tells Bustle.
And money can be that "structure" that makes life feel more secure, so if you’re dealing with financial stress, it 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’re Stressed About The Dentist
Dentists are notorious for shaming their patients into flossing more often or brushing more regularly. That is their job, after all. But if yours recently made you feel bad about your dental health or you’re dreading an upcoming appointment, Betancourt says that worry might show up in your dream. (Yes, sometimes dreams can be that literal.)
If your dental health concerns are keeping you up at night, he says that giving your dental health an upgrade can help these types of dreams fade away. Who knew that leveling up your brushing and flossing game is as good for your dreamscape as it is for your pearly whites?
8. You Have A Big Decision Coming Up
Are you feeling stressed or indecisive about an impending major life decision? Dreams about teeth falling out can follow, says Dunblazier. Just like your mouth is letting your teeth go, these dreams may be your subconscious telling you to let go of any obstacles that are getting in the way of you tackling that decision, she explains. The solution? "Look to the current conflict or struggles in waking life to see where making a decision is beneficial,” she tells Bustle.
If this dream is recurring, she recommends taking 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 so that you can move forward.
9. You Regret Something You Said
Teeth dreams are commonly symbolic of your daytime communication, says Loewenberg. “Any dream that focuses on the mouth, lips, tongue, teeth, or the throat area will most often be connected to some kind of communication issue in your waking life,” she tells Bustle. “The reason why it's so common is because it's connected to a recurring behavior pattern, like saying something without thinking about it first or allowing something out of your mouth that shouldn't have come out, like your teeth.”
Perhaps your no-filter communication style led you to say something you regret, she adds. Think back on recent conversations to see if this might be the case, and if it is, try to think before you speak next time to prevent similar remorse (and ensuing teeth dreams).
10. You're Having Trouble Sharing Your Thoughts
While dreams about your teeth falling out can signal that you’ve said too much, sometimes the opposite is true as well, says Annette Goggio, MPH, EEMCP, an energy medicine expert. These nightmares could indicate that you've been mulling over an issue — literally "chewing on a problem" — but haven’t taken action yet. Once teeth dreams enter the picture, it's a sign that you need to deal with whatever's bugging you so you can sleep more peacefully at night, she says.
If this strikes a chord with you, it might also be a sign that you want or need to chat about what’s bothering you, Goggio adds. Talking to a trusted loved one or therapist could help you find some relief or coping skills to 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 also trigger teeth dreams, says Leigh. 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, she says. That symbolic change in appearance could be a proxy for change in your waking life.
12. You’re Being Too Picky
Having something stuck in your teeth is as nightmarish in your dreams as it is in real life. And it can symbolize more than what you ate for lunch — Loewenberg says that having dreams where you pick at something that’s gotten trapped in your teeth could be your subconscious warning you that you’re getting too nitpicky in waking life. Perhaps you’re always trying to control people around you, or maybe you’re constantly ragging on your own appearance. Regardless, literally picking at something in your dreams could be a signal that you need to take it easy on figuratively doing it in real life.
13. You Feel Weak
Ever had a dream that your teeth shattered or cracked apart? This could be a sign that you didn’t communicate something as strongly as you wished, says Loewenberg. “Things crack and fall apart when they're weak,” she tells Bustle. “So you'll get this dream when perhaps you don't feel like you held up your end of an argument, when you didn't make your points strong enough, or when there were cracks in your story, so to speak.”
Lisa Allen, MH, astrology expert
Khi Armand, shamanic practitioner
Robert Betancourt, MA, a professional counselor
Annette Goggio, MPH, EEMCP, energy medicine expert
Susan Leigh, counselor and hypnotherapist
Lauri Loewenberg, certified dream analyst
This article was originally published on April 26, 2017
This article was originally published on