What does it mean if you have dreams about teeth falling out? Below are 7 simple takeaways.
The TL;DR version is that such “teeth dreams” are more likely to have physical origins (such as dental irritation), and less likely to be related to distress experienced in one’s waking life.
What you will learn in this article:
- 1 An introduction to teeth dreams
- 2 1. Dreams about teeth falling out, and broken teeth: physical interpretations
- 3 2. Symbolic teeth dreams: anxiety, vulnerability, or self-doubt
- 4 3. Fear of powerlessness, or not being able to “speak up”
- 5 4. Insecurity about one’s appearance
- 6 5. All of the above
- 7 6. What about “pulling out teeth dreams”? Some common meanings
- 8 7. What does the science say about dreams of teeth falling out?
An introduction to teeth dreams
Are dreams about teeth falling out even about teeth? After all, Dreams are the product of the mind’s subconscious thoughts and they are not always easy to understand.
Many common dreams can be scary, and can give the sleeper a sense of fear or impending doom.
Most people just brush these dreams off and think nothing of them, but often there is more to them than what meets the eye.
Dreams can be symbols of real-life fears that you may not want to confront in reality.
They are your mind’s way of showing you your deepest desires or fears without having to put yourself in any real danger.
Below, we look at 5 common interpretations of what it means if your teeth fall out in your dream.
1. Dreams about teeth falling out, and broken teeth: physical interpretations
Not every dream is a metaphor. A tooth is one of the most delicate parts of the human body and yet they are often neglected in our daily lives.
We don’t pay attention to what we eat, how often we brush our teeth, or how often we see the dentist.
Dreams about broken teeth can represent this neglect in our lives and can be seen as a warning to take better care of your oral health.
Other people dream about a broken tooth because they have actual problems with their teeth, which is causing them to have difficulty chewing food. Or jaw pain. Or even a cavity.
2. Symbolic teeth dreams: anxiety, vulnerability, or self-doubt
Dreams about broken teeth falling out can be interpreted in different ways, and not all those interpretations are always negative.
Dreams of teeth falling out and breaking are usually indications that the dreamer is undergoing a period of self-doubt, frustration, or fear.
Dreams about broken teeth are common and usually a symbol of vulnerability. Some people find that these dreams can be disturbing and even cause them to wake up in a sweat.
Dreams about broken teeth are interpreted by some as a sign that the dreamer is feeling insecure about their current situation in life.
This insecurity can come from many different things like feeling like they cannot find happiness, or feeling like they are not living up to their potential.
It can also be related to issues with self-esteem, low self-confidence, or a lack of accomplishment in one’s life.
The dreams may indicate that one has been feeling alone, or that they lack support from others in their life.
Some experts believe that these dreams could be caused by anxiety and stress.
This stress may result from things such as work or school-related problems, difficulties with friends or family, or even just everyday issues that can be hard to deal with.
3. Fear of powerlessness, or not being able to “speak up”
Dreams are often a way to communicate deep, personal desires and fears. Losing teeth often represents a fear of powerlessness.
In dreams, teeth can represent different things – from the need to say what is bothering you to fear of powerlessness in their current situation.
Some dream experts believe that having dreams about teeth falling out is a way for your subconscious mind to tell you that there is something that you need to say out loud, but don’t dare do it in waking life.
In some cases, the loss of teeth may also indicate that there is something you need to physically say out loud. You have a problem and it feels like you can’t tell anyone about it.
4. Insecurity about one’s appearance
Dreams about teeth can also indicate that one is feeling insecure about their appearance.
Some people, for example, dream about a broken tooth simply because they feel as though their teeth are not clean enough.
Indeed, some say the most common interpretation of teeth falling out in your dreams is that you are feeling insecure about your looks.
Losing teeth in a dream usually means that the person is experiencing some sort of social anxiety and fear of rejection.
They may have some issues with their sense of identity and worry about their appearance when they are around other people.
5. All of the above
Some people believe that teeth dreams might mean that you are anxious about something in your life. Others believe that it means that you have a fear of inadequacy.
Again, it ultimately depends on you, and where you are in your life.
Having dreams about teeth falling out might indeed be a sign of anxiety, or a symbol of a loss of stability in life, or a sense of lost security in oneself (in terms of an “anchor” slipping away…).
But as mentioned above, they can also symbolize the physical loss of teeth, or (unacknowledged) dental issues,
While teeth dreams may suggest a sign of aging or loss of vitality, or that someone has been neglecting their teeth and they do not take care of themselves, they can also symbolize change, renewal, or rebirth (i.e. making space for new, better “teeth”).
Above all, remember that having one’s teeth fall out is a very common dream. It can have many interpretations depending on the context in which it occurs, but they need not be cause for alarm..
After all, dreams are usually a way for the subconscious to work through things that have happened in your day, or your life.
Dreams can also be used for self-assessment. So if you dream about your teeth falling out, maybe a simple trip to the dentist could bring you some much-needed peace of mind.
6. What about “pulling out teeth dreams”? Some common meanings
Again, our dreams are a window into our truest selves.
Pulling out teeth, in the context of dreams, can represent a person feeling that they have become superfluous in their current job, or e.g. as a parent or friend.
It may also indicate that this person is feeling some sort of mental anguish as if a part of them is being removed.
Pulling out teeth is a popular theme in dreams and for a good reason.
The extraction of teeth is a symbol for many things such as fear, control, and being coerced to do something we don’t want to do.
It can also symbolize liberation from some burden or relief from worry or stress.
7. What does the science say about dreams of teeth falling out?
Have scientific researchers investigated what teeth dreams mean? They have indeed. Below we look at the most relevant results.
A study from 2018 found that teeth dreams are among the most common and universal types of dream, across all cultures.
About 40% of people have experienced some kind of teeth dreams at some point in their lives. And 8% of people have such dreams on a regular basis.
The 2015 Pixar/Disney movie “Inside Out” even featured a dream sequence that depicted a character’s teeth falling out in a dream, as a result of distress.
The 2018 study analyzed the dreams of about 200 young adults, and found the main reason for teeth dreams was physical (or “somatic”), rather than symbolic or psychological.
In other words, it was actual dental irritation (for example in the teeth gums, or jaw) that was entering one’s dream world.
The study did not find evidence for the idea that teeth dreams symbolize some kind of stress.
But other scientists have reached different conclusions.
Famed psychiatrist Carl Jung, for example, suggested that teeth dreams in women represent childbirth.
More recently, researcher J.M. Schneck wrote that dreams of teeth falling out represent the fear of getting older.
And a study from 2000 found that such dreams are likely due to teeth grinding (technically known as “sleep bruxism”), as the physical sensations become part of the incorporated dream.
Interestingly, this suggests that “the origin of some dreams is most likely physiological rather, than a direct or symbolic portrayal of psychological concerns.”
And did you know that 85–90% of people grind their teeth in their sleep at some point in their lives? Fortunately, the practice tends to decrease with age.
Fun fact: In Ancient Greece, Artemidorus suggested that losing teeth in a dream is related to being unable to pay one’s debts.
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