What does it mean when you're losing teeth in a dream? According to dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg, author of Dream on It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life, because of the location of one’s pearly whites inside the mouth, the main theme of teeth-related dreams tends to be rooted in communication: “Any dream that focuses on the mouth area—the lips, teeth, tongue, or throat—will usually be about the way you're talking to yourself or the way you've been communicating lately in real life,” she says.
How to figure out what a dream about teeth falling out means for you
If experiencing a dream where your teeth are falling out makes you honestly wish you just didn't have dreams, or freaks you out to the point where your sleeping heart rate soars, know that it's important to consider the context of any dream before taking a deep dive into its potential significance.
According to astrologer and dream interpreter Stephanie Gailing, author of The Complete Book of Dreams, two people could have the same dream and experience different responses within the dream or afterward—which would affect its potential meaning. “You might have been laughing, and I might have been in horror,” she says.
Tuning into additional context in a dream about teeth falling out can help you better understand its meaning for you (even if you can't necessarily control your behavior in the dream, as in lucid dreaming). For example, are you pulling your teeth right out in the dream, or are you making a beeline to the closest subconscious dentist? The former might reflect a sense of agency or action (or loss thereof), and the latter, a feeling of fear or a concern about your looks.
"Dreams are pretty much our built-in GPS, guiding us and navigating us through life." —Lauri Loewenberg, dream analyst
To fully interpret any dream, Loewenberg says you should also be attuned to how you feel about the dream once you wake up. "Dreams are pretty much our built-in GPS, guiding us and navigating us through life," she says. "They are messages from you, to you, about you—in order to improve you."
With that in mind, keep reading for three possible meanings of a dream where your teeth are falling out and four common types of dreams where this happens.
3 possible meanings of a dream where your teeth are falling out
1. Rebirth and transformation
When kids lose a tooth, they’re making room for another, hopefully stronger, tooth to grow. Having a dream where your teeth are falling out, then, might signal that you’re releasing the old to welcome the new, says Gailing.
2. Loss of control
Teeth are an essential part of the body for such fundamental human behaviors as chewing, eating, and speaking. Without them, you lose autonomy over all of the above. That’s why Gailing says that having a dream where your teeth fall out might indicate that you feel like you’re losing a grip in your waking life.
3. Concern about public image
“Imagine a dream where you're about to go on a date or do a job interview, and your teeth are falling out,” says Gailing. Here, it’s likely that you’re concerned about how your date or interviewer will see you if you have missing teeth. “Maybe that's also indicating that you are concerned about how you’re portraying yourself or your looks [in your waking life],” she says.
It's also possible that teeth falling out in a dream could reflect you having said something without thinking first, adds Loewenberg, which could also signal that you're worried about how you're being perceived by others.
4 common versions of the teeth falling out dream
1. You want to take back something you said
Wishing you hadn't said something in real life might take the dream form of you trying to jam your falling teeth back into your mouth.
“A common thought pattern is, ‘Oh, my God—I'm going to look like hell without my teeth,’ which is connected to the waking-life concern of how you may look now that you've said something [unideal],” says Loewenberg. Even if you’re not exactly concerned about how you’ll look physically, you may have concerns about how others will perceive you.
2. You're gossiping
If a lot of your teeth are falling out, and in that dream, you get the sense that this shouldn’t be happening, that might mean that you talk about others more than you know you should. In this case, says Loewenberg, your subconscious is “reprimanding you” and asking why you let certain information out of your mouth. It's likely that the more teeth that are falling out, the more you’ve said that you should’ve kept to yourself, she adds.
3. You want to "fix" a situation
If your teeth falling out in a dream prompts thoughts about how you can fix your smile, you might be looking to repair a situation or relationship in your daily life. “If you're thinking, ‘How am I going to get my teeth fixed?,’ that could be connected to a real-life concern about how you'll double-back on a mistake or remedy a problem,” says Loewenberg.
4. You struggle to keep your thoughts to yourself
In this dream, your teeth are loose, and you’re trying all you can to hold them in place. They haven’t exactly fallen out yet, but they’re dangerously close to doing so.
If your dream thought process is along the lines of, Maybe if I press my tongue against my teeth hard enough, they'll stay in place, the dream might indicate that you can resolve an issue in your waking life if you “keep your mouth shut long enough,” says Loewenberg.
Since your teeth are still in your mouth in this case, the dream might also mean that there’s something on your mind that you really want to say but haven’t yet or that you know you shouldn’t say, or that you’re trying to figure out the best way to say something, adds Loewenberg.
Frequently asked questions about dreams where your teeth are falling out
What do teeth symbolize in dreams?
Teeth don't hold one specific meaning, so their presence in a dream can have many interpretations. Because they're the first step in digestion and help us break food into manageable bites, they can symbolize the ability to have agency or discernment, or the capacity for transformation, says Gailing.
Separately, she adds that teeth can also symbolize how someone wants to appear to others, and that they're associated with the stages of life and aging.
What does it mean to dream about your front tooth chipping?
The front teeth often symbolize your ability to be forthright about something, says Loewenberg, so a chipped front tooth in a dream could mean that there's something on your mind that you need to express, but that you're holding back because you're afraid of the consequences of doing so.
A dream that includes a front tooth chipping could also mean that "perhaps you did speak up about [something controversial] and now have a concern about how you'll appear to others," says Loewenberg. "Or, you may feel like you didn't make your point strongly enough because a chipped tooth is also a weakened tooth."
Is it good luck to dream about your teeth falling out?
According to Gailing, dreaming about your teeth falling out isn't likely an indicator of luck. It may mean that you're doubting your ability to manage your life or that circumstances are changing beyond your ability to manage them. Change can certainly signal growth and a more positive outcome down the line, but in the mean time, teeth falling out in a dream is more likely to symbolize a loss of control than it is luck.
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