I can’t count the number of times I’ve woken up in a panic, desperately probing my teeth with my tongue in search of a gap. Realizing that all my chompers were still there, I’d breathe a sigh of relief before drifting back to sleep. Everything was okay — it was just my teeth falling out in a dream.
Sometimes in my dreams, one tooth will feel a bit loose. I’ll wiggle it around like I did when I was a child, then twist it out, and spit it into my hand. Other times, my teeth will just start falling out one by one, usually mid-conversation with someone important.
It can be a freaky experience, or absolutely normal. But no matter what, dreams where I’m losing my teeth are the most memorable.
If you’re like me and often have dreams where your teeth are falling out, don’t worry — you’re not alone! Far from it — it’s one of the most common dreams.
Across the world and among diverse cultures, humans dream of losing their precious pearls. But why do so many of us have dreams like these? Here are a few hidden meanings that could give you the answers you’ve been looking for.
Teeth Falling Out in a Dream: What Could It Mean?
#1. You feel like you’re not in control
The modern world is stressful. Whether it’s work, relationships, or other anxiety-inducing situations, many people feel like they’re not in control of their own lives. I know that I feel that way at times. And, these feelings of repression can and often do appear when you experience your teeth falling out in a dream.
Think about it — when you start losing your teeth, what can you do? Once they begin to feel loose, it’s almost too late. And once they fall out, you can’t exactly put them back in! For me, losing a tooth in a dream feels like a hopeless situation where there’s no turning back.
Because of this feeling, teeth falling out in a dream can symbolize a loss of control or represent a situation in which I feel powerless. Whenever I have these dreams, the first thing I do is think about my life circumstances. My subconscious is telling me something, so I try to listen!
If your teeth keep falling out in dreams, find small ways to take control of your life. Even the tiniest change can get you back on the road to increased confidence and emotional well-being.
#2. You’re facing a change
Even when we feel like we’re stuck in a rut, our lives are more dynamic than we think. Whether or not we realize it, changes affect us every day. So, if you experience teeth falling out in a dream, your subconscious mind may be trying to help you cope with a recent or upcoming change in your life.
Like a snake shedding its skin, a human losing their teeth represents a transition from one stage to another. We lose our baby teeth as children, and in our old age, we may lose our adult teeth too. In fact, as a young adult, I had my wisdom teeth removed!
Teeth are connected to growth, which is, in turn, connected to change. So, a dream about your teeth falling out may represent a change in your journey through life.
If you think your teeth falling out in a dream might be related to a change in your life, don’t worry. Change isn’t necessarily bad — on the contrary, you can benefit from it.
New situations often bring new opportunities, even if they seem beyond your control. So, I recommend that you take some time to reflect on the changes happening to you and around you. Then, try to find ways to make these changes work for you rather than against you!
#3. You’re dealing with a recent loss
When you lose a tooth, you literally lose a part of yourself. Once that tooth exits your mouth, it leaves behind a hole that can’t be filled easily. What’s more, along with that hole, you’re left with feelings of pain, confusion, and maybe even fear.
Could there be a more accurate metaphor for loss than having your teeth fall out? As with change, teeth falling out in a dream can symbolize a recent or impending loss.
Loss is a powerful emotion that has certainly turned up in my dreams — especially in the ones where I’m losing my teeth. Unfortunately, there’s no easy solution for dealing with it.
Whether you’ve lost a loved one, your job, or a treasured object, it can take a long time to heal. Dreams, including ones where your teeth fall out, are part of the healing process. They’re one of the ways in which your subconscious assists you in coming to terms with your grief.
If you’re in pain from a recent loss, stay in touch with your feelings and don’t hesitate to seek help from friends, loved ones, and mental health professionals.
#4. You long for a simpler time
I remember how I lost my first tooth. It was funny, strange, and a bit scary. But whenever I think back on that time, I remember it fondly.
No matter how you lost your first tooth, that memory is likely a powerful symbol of your childhood years.
Dreams about our teeth falling out usually feel incredibly realistic. This feeling could be tied to memories from our childhood. So, if you’re experiencing these dreams, they might mean that you’re feeling nostalgic for a time when your gap-toothed smile delighted your family and loved ones.
It’s okay to nurture your inner child — after all, we’re still kids deep down. Don’t be afraid of letting it loose every now and then. Your dreams might be telling you to do just that!
#5. You’re scared of growing older
On a related note, growing older can be a bit distressing. Aging comes with new expectations. Increased job responsibilities, medical expenses, paying the bills, raising a family — all of these things can cause stress that manifests in our dreams.
Your dream of losing your teeth may reflect a fear of aging. As noted above, it’s not uncommon for the elderly to lose teeth. So, teeth falling out in a dream can represent aging — particularly our fear or hesitation related to growing older.
These fears may also be tied to obligations, or they could be related to the physical decline that we all experience as time passes.
Rather than telling you that your days are numbered, your dreams about your teeth falling out could be drawing your attention to this fear. So…why are you so scared of aging?
When I have dreams like these, I try to focus on the joy and inner peace that I get from growing wiser and more experienced. It comforts me to think of the things that make aging wonderful — and it beats dwelling on the less enjoyable aspects of getting old!
#6. You don’t like how you look
You’ve seen it before and know it well — that pearly white, Hollywood smile!
Our teeth are an integral part of our looks — so much so that we spend thousands of dollars on braces, surgeries, and whitening to make sure our smiles are picture-perfect. In fact, sometimes I wince when I think of how much I’ve spent on maintaining my chompers!
Teeth falling out in a dream could mean that you’re concerned about the way you look — in general, not just with your teeth.
Dreams like these can be as visual as they are visceral. It always freaks me out to see myself with missing teeth in my dreams! This mental image might be suggesting that my appearance needs work — or that I just think it does.
It’s common for people to be unhappy with how they look. However, feeling that way isn’t the end of the world. Just because your dreams highlight your imperfections, it doesn’t mean that you can’t overcome them. In any case, you might be the only person who really notices them!
There are plenty of small ways we can change our appearance. When I’m feeling down, for example, something as minor as a new haircut or a manicure can do wonders for my self-esteem.
#7. You’re overdue for a dental checkup
When discussing dreams, Freud famously stated that “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” This can hold true for teeth falling out in a dream. New research suggests that dreams about teeth falling out can be directly related to problems with your dental health.
Don’t worry — that doesn’t mean that you’re literally losing your teeth! Physical pain or unconscious habits like teeth grinding or jaw clenching during sleep can also cause teeth-related dreams.
If you’ve been dreaming about your teeth falling out, and you’ve been experiencing oral pain after waking up, it may be a good idea to talk to your dentist. Also, even if you’re not experiencing pain, it’s possible that anxiety about your dental health is causing these dreams.
Haven’t been brushing enough, or you often forget to floss? Has it been too long since your last visit to the dentist? Feelings of guilt about my dental regimen — or lack of one — usually fuel my dreams about teeth falling out. If that’s true for you too, the advice I gave above stands — go see a dentist!
Our dreams can be useful once we understand what they’re trying to tell us. As you can see, teeth falling out in a dream can say a lot of different things about your mind and body.
Whether you’re feeling trapped, nostalgic, or unattractive, or simply need to pay your dentist a visit, dreams where your teeth are falling out can help you understand what your subconscious mind is trying to tell you.
So the next time you wake up in a panic and check to see if all your teeth are still there, know that there’s no need to worry. Listen to your body and your subconscious mind — you may be surprised by what you can learn from your dreams’ hidden messages.