Dreams About Teeth Falling Out

For Freud, teeth falling out in dreams point to anxiety about sexual repression and the desire to be nurtured. This disturbing symbol also tends to show up in dreams during important moments of transition in the dreamer’s life.

Man about to fall out of teeth

Key Dream Meanings

What does it mean when you dream about your teeth falling out? This symbol has both negative and positive meanings:

Negative meanings
  • Insecurities, especially about a personal loss
  • Anxiety about sexual experience
  • A compromise that is costly to you
  • Life changes and “growing pains”
  • Fear of becoming older
Positive meanings
  • Signs of personal expansion
  • Wish or need to nurture yourself more carefully
  • An invitation to explore feelings of loss and personal growth
  • A call to look at your support system
  • The Jungian interpretation: Times of renewal and “rebirth”

Dream Interpretation Tip:

dream interpretation tipCheck both positive and negative dream meanings before drawing any conclusion. For each definition, take the time to ask yourself: How do I feel about this interpretation? Does it resonate with me? Does it make any sense to me personally? Sort through the various meanings to find the one that is most relevant to you.

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Fallen teeth displayed on table

What does my dream about teeth falling out mean?

  • Teeth falling out in dreams symbolize insecurities…

In the field of dream interpretation, teeth falling out are associated with loss and important life changes. This symbol points to feelings of insecurity or vulnerability regarding a recent event that disrupted your life.

Such dreams indicate that you are dealing with loss in one way or another: It could be a sudden loss, like an abrupt end to a relationship or job change; it could also be a more gradual process of releasing old ways of living and adopting new habits. For instance, you could have this type of dream after moving, changing jobs, ending a relationship or starting a new one. These are important emotionally charged changes that may be expressed through the symbolism of teeth falling out.

  • Your dream reveals you’re making costly compromises…

Dreams about teeth falling out could represent the cost of making a compromise that is not satisfying for you or is bringing your life out of balance. We tend to have this type of dream when we are confronted with decisions to make, but feel we have limited options available. The symbolic images used in the dream language illustrate the risk making a decision that could costly.

For instance, you may have disillusions about your career path or school work, be stuck in a job you do not really like, or feel ambivalent about a relationship or decision you’ve made recently. Your dream would point to feelings of ambivalence or the sensitive nature of that situation in your life.

  • Your dream indicates a lack of willingness to make a choice…

Teeth falling out in a dream could signify that you are or were recently facing a dilemma in your life. It points out the cost of a decision, but it could also bring light to the price of inaction or lack of willingness to make a choice.

Such dream generally indicates that you may be feeling like you lost your ability to “chew on things” or digest information or an event. This symbolism could draw your attention to important matters that you may be unaware of at the moment.

  • A dream revealing concerns with self-image…

A common dream interpretation for teeth falling out sees this symbol as a representation of the fear of aging or becoming less efficient or productive. In other words, it would point to the loss of your means to fully bite into life, to break down what life brings you.

This type of anxiety dream remind us of issues we may have in our waking life about self-esteem, decision-making, and assertiveness. The overall tone and atmosphere of the dream can point to positive or negative meanings. For example, dreaming about having bad teeth could be a call to examine the way you show or assert yourself in life, whether it’s at work or in personal relationships.

  • Freud’s perspective on teeth falling out dreams…
According to the classical Freudian interpretation, teeth falling in dreams are considered symbols of castration and fear regarding the male genitalia. For men as well as women, such dreams could relate to anxiety about sexuality or sexual interaction with a partner.

Beyond this literal sexual and psychoanalytical analysis, this symbol can be interpreted as a representation of the fear of being deprived of your personal power. As an extension, common interpretations revolve around the idea of powerlessness, aggression, and concern about your safety.

Dream Interpretation Tip:

dream interpretation tipKeep in mind that a meaningful dream interpretation is multifaceted. The symbolism of the images featured in dreams are generally made of several layers of meanings.

Note that if you’re dreaming that a lot of teeth are falling out, the quantity or intensity of the pain or horror you feel while you are dreaming is proportional to the cost associated with the fear you’re feeling in your waking life.

Dreamy woman showing her teeth

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Positive Meanings of Teeth Falling out

Analyzing your dream is like looking at the two sides of a coin: For each seemingly negative meaning, you can uncover a positive explanation that can help you understand the constructive message conveyed in your sleep.

  • Teeth falling out in dreams & signs of personal expansion

A modern perspective emphasizes teeth as symbol of the process of growing up, expanding and developing yourself. A tooth falling out during childhood is often first time we experience the loss of something that is a part of us. It also represent a time when we get tangible signs that we are growing up out of childhood and transitioning into a new phase of our life.

In dreams, this symbol represents the passage from one situation or one order to another. Dreaming that your teeth fall out could therefore signal that you are in the process of changing, growing out of the old into the new.

While you are in the midst of change, the process may feel like you are loosing something or leaving a familiar environment or habit and jumping into the unknown or the unfamiliarity of a new place, job, relationship or way of doing and seeing things. As with any major change in ones’ life, this might be disturbing or even scary or painful – just like when something happens to your teeth. Transition times can also be seen as periods of discovery and personal growth.

Dream Interpretation Tip:
dream interpretation tipDreaming of teeth falling out may be a reminder that something similar is happening in your present life. When you have such a dream, be sensitive to your own development, how you’re growing through experiences or challenges, or pushing beyond your usual limits to discover new territories or ways of doing things.

  • A secret wish to be nurtured

Conventional psycho-analysts provide an additional perspective by arguing that dreaming of teeth falling out indicates an unconscious desire to regress at early stages of childhood when we were toothless and nourished by the mother.

A brief explanation of that interpretation: During early childhood, we did not have to deal with difficult decisions and constant adjustments to make to deal with reality. Dreaming of teeth falling out is therefore likely to come up when one is struggling with problems or difficulties that seem insurmountable or when you’re facing challenging decisions.

It’s also an indication that you’re facing a period of potential growth that could turn out positive if you pay attention to the delicate balance between your needs and the requirements of the moment.

  • An invitation to look at loss and personal growth

Losing teeth when you were a child was probably the first time you experienced the loss of something that was so close to you it was literally part of you. As you dream that your teeth are fall out, your unconscious is using images that play on similar feelings. This symbolic imagery suggests that you are dealing with an event or situation in your life that prompts you to deal with change and find support wherever you can.

When this symbol shows up in your dreams, it may point to the need to take care of yourself while you’re undergoing radical changes in your life. It may be an indication that you’re in the process of growing, discovering and developing aspects of yourself that were previously hidden or neglected.

Be sure to acknowledge that you need to take it easy on you, perhaps take some rest and give yourself the support you need to accomplish the task at hand or challenge the obstacles that are on your way.

  • Symbols of strength and self-esteem

A traditional interpretation consists in seeing teeth as symbols of personal power or self-esteem. A number of common idiomatic expressions evoke the relationship between teeth and the capacity to find your own edge or to live life more fully.

If the dream contains some tension or violence, the teeth images could be interpreted as a symbol of aggressiveness and personal strength – or lack thereof depending on whether the dream scenario is positive or negative. Look at how you are using your instincts and primal drives such as fear, sexual desire, or desire to take control or dominate in your waking life.

On one side, you may be in the process of gaining more control over your environment or others, rising your level of confidence in a business environment or a relationship for instance. On the other side, the teeth in your dream may reveal tension or conflicting feelings regarding your personal power or ability to succeed.

  • Psychologist C. G. Jung and symbols of rebirth

For Jung, one of the most influential psychologist and dream analyst of the 20th century, having a tooth or teeth fall out in a dream symbolizes giving birth to something new. According to him, this is especially relevant if the dreamer is a woman, but the symbolism could be applied to anyone’s dream.

Dreaming of having your fall out reflects the tension and sometimes painful process that comes with starting or creating something new whether it’s a project, personal resolution, decision or responsibility. It usually connects to emotions you may be experiencing currently as you are going through changes or important shifts in your life, such as changing jobs, home, ending or starting a relationship or simply going through a period of significant personal growth. In any case, it may feel like you’re ending something and starting something new.

Tips to interpret teeth falling out in dreams

A popular dream interpretation technique consists in connecting dream images to experiences you have or had in your waking life. If you dreamed that your teeth were falling out, remember the feelings or thoughts that came up with the experience in the dream and connect them with emotions or situations that evoke similar reactions in your waking life.

For example, imagine what it would feel like to have a tooth fall out and what it would mean to you. If you or someone else in the dream has bright white teeth and a shiny smile, what do you typically associate with these traits: Is it seduction, beauty, power to impress, cleanliness, something else? The answer could point to possible meanings for the symbols in your dream.

The bottom line of this dream analysis method is to connect to the original feelings and emotional charge expressed in the dream through teeth imagery. As you practice free associations, playing with symbols and their meanings, revealing more and more layers of understanding, you gradually uncover the true meaning of your dream.

Dream Interpretation Tip:

dream interpretation tipRemember that your interpretation is far more meaningful when you connect it with events, situations or feelings you have in your personal life. When analyzing the content of your dream, ask yourself what this image could represent or what role they play both in your dream and in your waking life.

Video about dreams of teeth falling out

Click the video Play icon above to see the digest of the most important dream meanings or watch the dream interpretation video directly on YouTube.

Dream Research & Fun Facts

Dream research: Are Dreams About Teeth Falling Out Universal?

Confused or intrigued by your dream featuring your teeth falling out? Be reassured, you’re not the only one. Contemporary studies confirm what Freud was already saying in his classic, The Interpretation of Dreams back in 1900. The father of psychoanalysis outlined a series of common dreams, such as flying dreams, dreaming about having an exam, missing a train, falling, death of a person you know, and losing teeth.

Conclusion, dreams of teeth falling out and losing teeth are universal as they are common across cultures. They also tend to be recurrent within one’s lifetime.

This type of dream scenario is among the top 3 most common recurring dreams. In Barrett’s article, “Trauma and dreams” (Harvard University Press), teeth falling out are the third most common recurring dream theme after dreaming of being chased or pursued, having problems with house maintenance.

Through the eyes of scientists

Similarities between dreams about falling out and certain types of seizures
A study about the case report from Koutroumadinis and al. reporting tooth-brushing seizures makes correlations between the imagery of losing teeth and teeth falling out in dreams and during this specific type of seizures.

The seizures studied in that case relate a woman’s seizure convulsions experienced during vigorous tooth-brushing with the imagery and sensations “as if my teeth were falling down into the sink one after the other.”

The images of losing teeth reported during this type of seizure is very similar to the typical dream imagery featured in dreams about teeth falling out. (Koutroumadinis M. et al., Tooth-brushing induced seizures: a case report. Epilepsia, 2001)

Do dreams of teeth falling out result from dental excitation?
Dreams about having your teeth fall out would be associated with neuronal stimulation focused on the trigeminal nerve and some parts of the brain. This reinforces the hypothesis that some dreams about teeth falling out are somatic in nature; in other words, they are triggered by a physical stimulus related to the mouth.

In addition to being precipitated by a somatic sensation, a dream of teeth falling out or losing teeth is the product of mental and emotional states and associations the dreamer experiences. The research suggests that the neuronal networks that support these states interact with the networks related to the teeth (e.g., the trigeminal zone).

Even if the imagery is similar in dreams and the type of temporal lobe seizures presented above, the neuronal network excited during the dream state appear to have a much lower intensity. As the article concludes, “dreaming itself is a product of focal network hyperexcitabilities appearing below a recognizable seizure threshold.” (Arthur W. Epstein, Department of Psychology and Neurology, New Orleans, Louisiana. Epilepsia, 2002)

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630 Responses to Dream About Teeth Falling Out

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  • Fiona

    i had a dream about waking up from a dream and just feeling this really weird tinge in my mouth. I was like “i’m going to get up” and then a friend of mine saw me and we talked. i was struggling to talk properly because i knew something was wrong with my mouth but i couldn’t see what it was. my friend wasn’t too bothered about it but i felt like my gums were swollen. so i went to look in the mirror, and my gums were super swollen and i had no teeth at all. i was so so scared and i woke up about a minute later (in that universe anyway) thanking God it was just a freaking nightmare! imagine though, waking up from a dream you thought you’ve already woken up from? i sure thought it was my reality for a split second! any idea what this meant?

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  • Amy

    Last night, I dreamed about teeth falling out like every dream described here, horrible. But, the dream continues with me having a less beautiful set of teeth. I am not very satified with the beginning set (also in real life current set), and then the last set is less beautiful. More grey and more inside my mouth. Does anyone know what this is about?

  • Eliza

    I had a dream that my teeth are falling as i speak. I am devastated that what is happening with me. My paternal uncle suggest me to go to doctor but i said that i would rather wait for my father. Then i see that i spitting teeths and they are breaking fast. I couldnt control as soon as my tongue touches the teeth it tends to fall off. And then out of fear, i woke up

  • shteef

    Back in in my teens, I had recurring dreams of my front teeth falling out while brushing my teeth. It;s been decades since I had one, until last night. In my dream I was on a cruise ship enjoying myself, when my molars one by one fell out. I simply spit them into my hand and stuck them in my pocket. I found a mirror to confirm it wasn’t visible, and then grabbed a snack to confirm I could chew. I proceeded to continue enjoying myself. Was curious if there was any obvious symbolism?

  • Mike

    What’s messing with my mind is that I’m not sure if I’m (literally) having reoccurring dreams of my teeth falling out (front upper teeth) at the most inconvenient of times, or, if the reoccurring element is actually part of my dream. Does anyone experience something similar?

  • Liz Yarborough

    I have a dream about my teeth falling out what seems like every few months. I’m 20 years old and I’ve been through my fair share of shit but I am just getting, extremely concerned. The dreams ALWAYS leave me feeling scared, feeling helpless/panicked, and overall horrified but they are getting worse. These dreams are becoming so common…. that in the dream it’s almost as if if I’m trying to tell myself it’s a dream. When i feel the first loose tooth, I always try to calm myself. The dreams started off with just loosing a tooth or two, then they escalted to most of my mouth. And last night I had a dream I was brushing and flossing my teeth like normal, but after flossing my teeth looked thin. Like a drug addicts tooth just really thin and sharp just disformed and when I went to touch it, it was loose. All of my teeth were loose like always but this time I wasn’t dumb enough to pull them out (which in my dreams require NO effort) but instead I was trying to push them back into my gums. I refused to talk because I didn’t want them to press down on each other and fall out. I was turning my front/top tooth almost all the way around while looking in the mirror trying to shove it back into my gum. I never remember the dream when I first wake up but it always haunts me through out the day.

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  • Jenna N

    I have reaccuring dreams that my teeth fall out. And I remember my past dreams so I always try to prove that I’m real in the dream, but it always starts out by feeling 1 loose tooth, I run my tongue over it then it gets worse, then that one tooth falls and after that most of my teeth follow fast, In the end I’m always left holding a handful of my teeth terrified and try’s jog to go to a dentist.

    • Liz Yarborough

      Jenna I do the same thing! When I’m dreaming and it has anything to do with my mouth, it’s like.. in my dream i know what’s about to happen i know all of my teeth are about to fall out and I try to calm myself and tell myself that last time it wasn’t real or the time before that but I always end up caving in and just panicking and feeling horrified to the point that even when i’m awake, it haunts me all day.

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  • Jo

    In my dream, someone who I don’t know but somehow felt familiar and un-sketchy gives me some sort of supposedly a natural solution to gargle and rinse the mouth with to get instant white and fresh teeth. I start to gargle it in front of family, and when I did I felt no sting or pain so I smiled thinking my teeth were whiter until I saw the looks on my family’s faces they were shocked as if they saw a ghost. I immediately ran to see a mirror and slowly, one-by-one my teeth started to shatter and fall like pieces of chandelier leaving only a few dangling. I panic and cried. Few moments later, entered my room to sob but found a few family in my bathroom making changes and new reinforcements all over like security locks and safety paddings or what not. And then I woke up, feeling all confused.

    • Liz Yarborough

      jo this happens to me too! I can’t remember but it’s someone very close to me like a family member or someone that always trys to tell me it’s no big deal, to use some mouth wash or something similar and then when they have all fallen out or are falling out, I begin to panic, I become horrified but no One else around me is.

    • Liz Yarborough

      jo this occurs in my dream as well! I can’t remember but it’s someone very close to me like a family member or someone that always trys to tell me it’s no big deal, to use some mouth wash or something similar and then when they have all fallen out or are falling out, I begin to panic, I become horrified but no One else around me is.

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