What Do Dreams About Teeth Falling Out Mean? 6 Ways to Interpret Tooth Loss Nightmares

Updated on June 5, 2019
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Aisling is the author of Dog Funeral Evangelism. Her articles on dream interpretation and Jungian psychology have over 2.1 million views.

Did you know that nightmares involving lost teeth are one of the top ten nightmares people experience? At some point in time, almost everyone will experience one of these disconcerting dreams. What does it mean when teeth fall out in dreams? Read this comprehensive guide and get to the root of your dental disaster nightmare.

What Are Tooth Loss Dreams Trying to Say?

Recurring nightmares about teeth falling out are among the most common nightmares dreamers report having.

Whereas most dreams and dream symbols have both positive and negative aspects and interpretations, dreams about lost teeth almost always have a negative connotation.

The Meanings of Dreams About Losing Your Teeth

  • Feelings of grief
  • Control issues, lack of Integrity
  • Helplessness
  • Malnutrition
  • Fear of failure
  • Abandonment issues

Why do tooth loss dreams carry such negative symbolism?

The other reason tooth loss dreams are distressing is because the dreams strike a chord resonating with our most powerful negative emotions, namely the feelings of helplessness and powerlessness.

Despite the variance in imagery, whether they teeth fall out, crumble away, melt, disintegrate, or even explode, dreams about losing teeth are decidedly disconcerting because normally the dreams involve an unnatural manner of tooth loss that the dreamer is powerless to prevent as she gapes in helpless horror at the dental destruction.


1. Tooth Loss Dream as Grief Symbols

Tooth loss dreams are symbols par excellence for the expression of grief over losing a loved one because death leaves an empty space in life. Grieving people often feel like they, and particularly their grief is on display for the world to see.

Death leaves a hollow emptiness and the hollowness of an empty space formerly filled by a tooth, a prominent hollowness on public display because it is a part of the face shown to the world, embodies the both the feelings of grief one feels when a loved one is lost as well as the feelings that that grief is there for the world to see.

It Helps to Remember

Tooth loss nightmares are particularly distressing, but it helps remembering that dreams primarily function as indications of the psyche's state rather than as prophetic harbingers.

2. Control Issues, Lack of Integrity

Control and power are not necessarily synonyms.

Power refers to one's personal ability to affect change in one's environment. Power infers wisdom and intelligent, judicious action. Power means bold, fearlessness.

Control often refers to one's attempts to deceptively manipulate others into doing one's bidding or dominating another into submission.

Control implies bullying, coercion, and manipulation. Control equates to disbelief in one's ability to determine one's own destiny. When one lacks power, one seeks to control others.

What does the difference between power and control have to do with tooth loss dreams?

Tooth loss dreams can indicate the dreamer feels he has lost the ability to positively affect change in his world and has moved into a place wherein controlling events and/or others feels like his only option and this indicates a loss of integrity.

Integrity refers to a state of being whole and sufficient. When one seeks to control another, one is operating from a space of deficiency, a space of lack--the antithesis of wholeness and what could more accurately portray the loss of wholeness than a mouthful of emptiness on display to the world?

Tooth Loss Dreams: Not a Pretty Picture

Not a Pretty Picture or Dream Image
Not a Pretty Picture or Dream Image | Source

Power vs. Control

Power refers to one's personal ability to affect change in one's environment. Power infers wisdom and intelligent, judicious action. Power is bold, fearless, and honest. Control, on the other hand, refers to deceptive manipulation to get one's way or attempts at dominating another into submission. Control is born of cowardice.

Examining Why Teeth Fall Out in Dreams

Examining Why Teeth Fall Out in Dreams
Examining Why Teeth Fall Out in Dreams | Source

3. Helplessness

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of tooth loss nightmares is the helplessness the dreamer feels in the dream. It doesn't matter if the teeth fall out, crumble away, melt, disintegrate, or even explode the point to the dream is that the dreamer is helpless to stop the horror.

The helplessness one feels in dreams of tooth loss can mirror hidden waking life concerns.

Since tooth loss dreams are often recurrent, it behooves the dreamer to examine his waking life looking to see if feelings of helplessness are a recurrent theme and if one sees such a pattern in waking life behavior, he might consider the way in which to reclaim one's power.

Since teeth are found inside the mouth and since the mouth is the voice's vehicle, it could very well be that the dreamer feelings of powerlessness are rooted in feeling as if one does not have a say in one's own life.

The dreamer might ask the following questions:

  • Do I speak up for myself when necessary?
  • Who do I allow to speak for me?
  • Do I feel I have a voice in the outcome of my own life?
  • Whose voice do I feel is overpowering my own?
  • Why do I allow someone else to speak for me?

It is common to feel helpless while not actually being helpless--that is, it is common to know what to do while also feeling unable to accomplish that which needs to be done.

Helplessness can sometimes be a self-imposed trap that one willingly remains stuck in because reclaiming power often equals taking painful action. Tooth loss dreams can be indicators of the pain the psyche feel when it knows what to do but is paralyzed by inaction.

Only in Dreams (Or Under Anesthesia)

4. Malnutrition

Outside of aging and accidents, the primary reason for waking life tooth loss is malnutrition and malnutrition occurs when one fails to give the body what it needs to sustain itself.

Tooth loss dreams can symbolize malnutrition, but that malnutrition may not be literal; malnutrition may metaphorically indicate the emotional, financial, or spiritual deficiencies.

Emotional deficits occurs when one distances one's self from the emotions or isolates one's self from others and dreaming about lost teeth can stand in for the depletion of one's emotional resources.

Tooth loss in dreams can indicate that one's financial resources are depleted and indicate concerns over one's ability to sustain one's self or one's family. Nightmares involving tooth loss can indicate spiritual hunger or may mean that the well from which one previously drew sustenance has run dry.

One must examine the waking life to see if all areas of that life are being properly fed. If not, one must make changes to that which one is bringing into one's life.

5. Fear of Failure & Embarrassment

In the waking world, those who have lost teeth or who are ashamed of their teeth's appearance often cover their mouths while speaking or smiling.

Nightmares about tooth loss can indicate a pattern of feeling afraid of embarrassing one's self or keeping silent for fear of looking foolish.

Keeping silent can be a metaphor for the refusal to act upon some meaningful desire or not attempting some new activity due to a fear of failure.

Tooth loss is something not easily covered up, when one is missing teeth, the gaps are available for the world to see.

When teeth fall out in dreams, this can indicate that one is afraid of being made a public spectacle if one takes a chance on a dream and fails to achieve one's desire.

One may even fear the exposure of one's hidden dreams, fearful that even having the desire is cause for ridicule.

Tooth Loss Dreams Aren't Funny

It's not laughing matter to lose teeth
It's not laughing matter to lose teeth | Source

6. Abandonment Issues

In the waking world, life is filled with unstoppable, unforeseeable abandonment: jobs are suddenly lost, lovers suddenly leave, friends go missing in times of need, families fail the ones they are meant to love.

Because dream teeth abandon the dreamer's mouth in much the same way abandonment happens in the waking world--without warning, reason, or remedy, dreams of losing teeth can mirror waking life fears of abandonment.

Abandonment and/or fears of abandonment is a complex issue because one must not only deal with feelings of hurt and betrayal, but in order to resolve a recurrent tooth loss nightmare, associated traumas such as abuse must also be confronted. c

Abuse victims often feel as though there is something wrong with them, something undefinable that makes them unlovable and easily left behind. It is important to realize that these beliefs in one's deficiency are not rooted in fact. They are rooted in one's attempts to prepare one's self for that which one was previously unprepared.

It is important to remember that fear of abandonment can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, not only in driving away those with whom one is involved but by attracting those who will abandon one in the first place.


Because dream teeth abandon the dreamer's mouth in much the same way abandonment happens in the waking world--without warning, reason, or remedy, dreams of losing teeth can mirror waking life fears of abandonment.

Tooth loss dreams are a nightmare.
Tooth loss dreams are a nightmare. | Source

Finally, Remember This

Tooth loss dreams imagery, like the imagery discussed in this article on hair loss dreams, are rarely pleasant as this article clearly shows.

Tooth loss nightmares are particularly distressing, but it helps remembering that dreams primarily function as indications of the psyche's state rather than as prophetic harbingers.

Since dreams are not normally prophecies one always has hope. By fearlessly taking stock of one's waking life including the emotional and spiritual life, it is possible to see tooth loss dreams fade rather than blossom into nightmares in real life.

Songs About Teeth and Tooth Loss

(click column header to sort results)
Savoy Truffle
The Beatles
Steve Martin
Cavity Search
"Weird Al" Yankovic
Teeth Like God's Shoeshine
Modest Mouse
Shoehorn With Teeth
They Might Be Giants
(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth
Your Gold Teeth
Steely Dan
Twenty-Eight Teeth
Brad Paisley
Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out
The Antlers

Have Your Say

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2018 Aisling Ireland


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