Every Nightmare You've Ever Had About Your Teeth Explained

There's a common saying that good dental health leads to good general health; maybe that's why dreams about teeth are so common. After all, nightmares about teeth are among the most common bad dreams a person can have. But what does it mean when you dream about your teeth falling out? 

Teeth dream meanings vary quite a bit, especially when considering how many teeth people have and how many uniquely terrifying things can happen to them. From falling out to crumbling to dust to disappearing entirely, each tooth nightmare has a unique interpretation. These dream meanings can shed some light on a common nightmare, giving some insight into what the brain is chewing on while we're sleeping. Interestingly, cultural backgrounds can change the meaning of even the most common tooth dreams; it's not uncommon for symbols to mean different things in different areas of the world, meaning even the most common interpretation of a dream may drastically change between cultures. But that's the nature of interpretation - ultimately, it's up to the individual to decide what it means.

  • Dreams About Teeth Falling Out Suggest Change

    A dream about teeth falling out is, first and foremost, distressing. In these dreams, teeth usually fall out before the dreamer can stop them, making the dream feel frustrating as well as eerie. Though Freud chalked this common dream up to sexual repression (because what else would Freud say?) the more common interpretation is that a dream about teeth falling out means change, whether positive or negative.

    Change is a positive and negative force, and dreaming of losing teeth may suggest that a person is experiencing changes they feel like they can't stop. That can be good - maybe a career upgrade is imminent - or bad - maybe a job loss - but, much like the Death card in tarot, any ending is also a beginning.

  • A Dream About Being Toothless Suggests Disempowerment
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    A Dream About Being Toothless Suggests Disempowerment

    When someone dreams that they are without teeth, there’s an obvious metaphorical connection: they probably feel “toothless,” in that they feel that they can’t meaningfully affect their life. These dreams may signify that a person needs to seek support in their life to help ease their insecurities, but they may also have a desire to return to a time in which they were more innocent. While adults may lose their teeth and become toothless as they grow old, humans begin life without teeth. Returning to a toothless state in a dream may represent a desire to find that innocence again and experience a time in which a person didn’t need teeth to get by.

  • Loose Teeth In Dreams Mean Instability

    Dreams about loose teeth may be the precursor to dreams about teeth falling out, but sometimes people just have dreams about their teeth being on the verge of falling out without it ever happening. This is commonly said to represent instability or ambivalence; while someone might be concerned about a decision they have to make or about feeling unstable, the brain may process those feelings at night by dreaming about loose teeth. There’s a sense of dread about having a loose tooth; it has to come out sometime, but when is anybody’s guess. That’s part of what makes these dreams so common. Many people will experience these feelings multiple times throughout their life, and the brain may sometimes find the same ways to express that during sleep.

  • Dreaming About Rotten Teeth Might Mean Avoiding Something

    There are few things more unpleasant than dreaming of rotten teeth. Not only are rotten teeth unattractive and painful, but rot means something has been deteriorating without treatment for some time. That’s why dreaming of rotten teeth can indicate the need to deal with unfinished business or other lingering problems. Dreams like this can be a hint that something has gone undealt with for too long, causing worse side effects than if it had been dealt with right away. Repeatedly dreaming about rotten teeth, then, should be an indicator that a person needs to look at what’s happening in their life and root out the cause of the problem. Rot indicates that something is wrong beneath the surface, and should be taken as an indicator that there are underlying issues to handle.

  • Broken Teeth Signify Stress

    In real life, a broken tooth can mean spending lots of money at the dentist. In a dream, the meaning isn't actually all that different. Dreaming of broken teeth often means stress, whether because the dreamer is keeping something back or because they're feeling unstable in their lives. Dreaming of broken teeth, just like dreaming of losing teeth, often suggests that someone is going through a period of change or upheaval. However, broken teeth have a more generally negative association; while lost teeth in childhood grow back, a broken tooth must be repaired.

  • Crumbling Teeth Might Mean You Feel Powerless

    Broken and lost teeth are common, but crumbling teeth are a particularly strange and specific nightmare many people suffer from. This particularly horrifying dream image can mean a few different things, but is commonly associated with feeling powerless. Like the crumbling teeth, a person experiencing this nightmare may feel like they’re caving to pressure. That crumbling may be a metaphoric representation of how they see their life; if things are out of control, it may feel as though they’re unable to stop their life from being destroyed.