Last updated: April 3, 2017
It’s happened to many of us. We wake up with a jolt, perhaps in the middle of the night, with a vague feeling of discomfort. We put our hands to our mouths and suddenly feel relieved: all of our teeth are still there! If you’ve ever had a strange dream that all or some of your teeth fell out of your mouth, don’t fret. You’re not alone! Dreams about teeth falling out are eerily common, and there are many theories about what it can symbolize about our lives.
Table of Contents
What do teeth symbolize for you?
Nearly everything in our dreams can be connected to a symbol. To understand what a teeth falling out dream might mean for you, you first have to contemplate what teeth symbolize for you. After all, this can vary from person to person and society to society.
The teeth may represent something cultural. For example, in the West, teeth are a symbol of beauty, youth, and abundance. Having strong-looking, straight, and white teeth means that you have a desirable life and are valued. On the other hand, losing teeth is associated with aging, which is often considered a negative thing in the West; it means that you’re losing your value. There is a strong fear of aging. You may not be consciously aware of this, but often we subconsciously pick up on these cultural symbols, and our minds use them while we are asleep to tell us a story about our own subconscious thoughts.
On a personal level, having dreams in which all of our teeth fall out can simply represent your anxieties or worries about yourself and your appearance. In this sense, it’s similar to any other dream in which your appearance is sabotaged or drastically changed in some way. Think about whether you’re holding onto any fears of being ugly, being rejected, or being undesirable. Or, you may feel personally afraid of aging or of morality.
What does it mean if your own teeth fell out?
The meaning of your dream depends on whether it was your own teeth that fell out or someone else’s teeth. If it was your own teeth, it could symbolize that your ability to assess your own emotional experiences is being interfered with. Try to think of any obstacles that may be appearing in your life and whether they’re coming from within or from an external source.
What about when someone else’s teeth fell out?
If you dreamt that someone else’s teeth fell out, it could be a symptom of a deep issue that you have with this person. You may feel jealous of the person, feel that they have control over your happiness, or simply not like them. Think about the role that this person plays in your life and whether you harbor any negative feelings toward them.
A dream like this may mean that, if you have fear or envy toward this person, it’s overstated and unwarranted. After all, they have flaws just like you.
The type of teeth
In addition to the person that the teeth belong to, you should also consider what type of teeth fell out. If they were regular teeth, they probably symbolize something personal or something related to a cultural symbol. However, if it was a gold tooth, that would symbolize the whole Self. The fact that it fell out would mean that some important part of your life’s journey is being interrupted or detoured.
Teeth as symbols of communication
There are also things that teeth are thought to symbolize. For instance, teeth relate to communication because they’re a rather vital part of forming words. If you don’t have teeth, it’s harder to get your point across to people. Perhaps losing your teeth in a dream is signaling that you feel stifled in some way, unable to express yourself.
Lack of power
In a different way, teeth can also symbolize strength and power. We use them to consume food and energy, and predators use them to fight and defeat one another. Losing all your teeth may symbolize your feeling of having your hands tied, not being able to defend yourself, or not feeling confident or able to fulfill your own purpose.
Where did your teeth fall out?
Think about where your teeth fell out — did it happen in front of people, or at home in the mirror? If you were alone when it happened, it’s more likely to symbolize a fear of aging, illness, or mortality. If you were with other people, it’s more likely to symbolize a lack of power, an inability to communicate, or a feeling of insecurity.
Also, if the teeth fell out in front of other people, dreams about teeth falling out can simply symbolize a fear of embarrassment. These are similar to other dreams in which you do something embarrassing and irreversible in front of other people, like leave the house without pants on or soil yourself in public.
How did your teeth fall out?
Finally, you can consider exactly how your teeth fell out in your dream. Did they crumble in your mouth with no provocation? Did they fall out one by one over time? Did they come out when you tried to eat, or did they fall out every time you touched them with your hands? Think about whether anything prompted them to fall out, and whether you felt responsible for what happened. This will help you understand what the dream symbolizes.
For example, if your teeth fell out in front of a loved one because you were chewing too hard, it may indicate that you're afraid of messing up in front of others. If your teeth rotted or crumbled without you doing anything, it may indicate that you fear having less power than that person or being powerless to the effects of aging and unattractiveness.
Freud’s theory about dreams about teeth falling out
These dreams are so classic that the famous psychologist Sigmund Freud even had a theory about them. According to Freud, men and women each have their own subconscious desires; many of his theories were dependent on gender differences. In this case, Freud believed that if a man had a teeth falling out dream, he was afraid of castration. If a woman had a teeth falling out dream, she subconsciously longed to have children.
Using your dreams about teeth falling out to inform your life
Dreams are like a message from your subconscious. Sometimes they’re like a neon sign telling you to pay more attention to a certain part of your life. Other times, they’re a lot more subtle — you have to sit and think in order to get a sense of what they’re trying to help you understand.
In either case, it’s helpful to write down your dream right after you have it so that you can think carefully about it afterward. The more you begin to understand the specific language that your own subconscious uses to talk to you, the more you will be able to use your instincts to interpret every one of your dreams, including dreams about teeth falling out.
In the case of a teeth falling out dream, most of the interpretations involve a repressed fear. By looking at the other factors in your dream, you can figure out exactly what you’re feeling anxious or afraid about, and you can use that information to help you. It may indicate that you need to face your fear in order to take away some of its power. This will allow you to live life without worrying about aging, communicating, being embarrassed, or whichever of these interpretations fits your dream.