Why You’re Dreaming About Your Teeth Falling Out, According to Dream Analysts

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It’s more than a little unnerving: You’re going about your business, and all of a sudden, your teeth start falling out. Maybe they drop out one at a time, or they begin crumbling in your hands, or they start splintering off. No matter what, having a dream where your teeth fall out is unsettling. If you’ve had a dream like this, you might be wondering what it means.

According to Autumn Fourkiller, Indigenous mystic and writer behind the newsletter Dream Interpretation for Dummies, they seldom have anything to do with your actual teeth. “Unless you have preexisting dental problems — which are already incredibly stressful — I can safely say that dreams about your teeth falling out are very much usually not about your teeth themselves.”

Rather, “the teeth dream will be connected to the way you’ve been communicating lately,” says Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, professional dream analyst and author. “Any dream having to do with the mouth — the lips, the tongue, the teeth, the throat — is going to be about what you’ve been saying, how you’ve been saying it, et cetera.” Continue reading for Loewenberg’s interpretations of various dreams about teeth falling out, and how they might relate to what’s happening in your life when you’re awake.

Fourkiller, who notes teeth-related ones are “definitely one of the most common recurring dreams,” has a more broad take. “I don’t think teeth dreams always have to be about communication — they can represent a full range of experiences — though I do think it’s a really strong image and can totally be applied. This doesn’t mean that I think Lauri’s interpretations are wrong, simply that our practices stem from different cultures, beliefs, generations, and so forth.”

Fourkiller’s perspective is that teeth dreams are generally “reflective of fears of losing control, of being out of control.” Accordingly, she believes the pandemic may have caused an uptick in dreams about losing teeth. “I think fears about getting sick, about people around you getting sick, about giving sickness to someone you love are all good setups for teeth dreams, too,” she explains. “It all relates back to lack of control. Sure, there are things we can do — masks, distancing, etc. — but forcing personal responsibility as the end-all, be-all of virus precaution instead of systemic governmental measures is a bit … well, gnarly. Isn’t it? Of course your teeth are falling out!” When not about losing control, Fourkiller adds “losing face (as in, losing other people’s respect) is also a pretty general read” of a teeth dream.

Continue reading for Loewenberg’s and Fourkiller’s interpretations of various dreams about teeth falling out, and how they might relate to what’s happening in your life when you’re awake.


If you dream that your teeth fall out at the dentist’s office …

“The dentist would [represent] your ability to correct some form of communication you’ve had, or maybe just correct your typical way of communicating,” Loewenberg says. “Maybe you’re working on not cursing so much, maybe you’re working on thinking before you speak, maybe you’re working on being more polite.”


If you pull out a loose tooth in your dream …

According to Loewenberg, pulling out a loose tooth would symbolize a conflict that you need to speak up about or that you want to put an end to. “Maybe the tooth is just hanging there by a vein, and you just need to get this out. That thought process right there is exactly what the dream means. You’ve got to say what needs to be said here, you gotta force yourself to say it no matter how painful it may be.”


If you go to pick something out of your teeth, and the tooth falls out …

There’s nothing like realizing you forgot to floss and now have a piece of spinach in your teeth, but it’s even more unsettling if your tooth falls out when you try to remedy it. However, Loewenberg says that this dream could be a sign that you’ve cleared up a miscommunication. “It’s also really important what is stuck in your teeth. If you’ve got gum stuck in your teeth, this would likely be connected to something you would consider a sticky situation. And that may be why you’re stuck in this communication issue because it’s sticky and you’re not sure how to say the correct thing.”


If you dream that your teeth begin crumbling …

“The one where your teeth crumble is connected to weak speech,” says Loewenberg. “You’re typically going to get that dream when you maybe had an argument or you feel like you didn’t get your point across, or you just didn’t say it correctly, that what came out of your mouth was weak. It had cracks in it, it wasn’t solid.”


If you dream that your teeth start falling out slowly or one by one …

“When they come out on their own, that’s usually connected to allowing something out of your mouth that you wish you could put back in. Saying something without thinking about it first, gossip, things that should have stayed in there,” says Loewenbergs.” When the teeth come out one at a time, then look at your communication the day before. Did you start maybe leaking information about someone or something? Did you say little trickles of things that maybe you shouldn’t have said? It’s connected to just saying little tidbits here and there.”

“I do agree in part that dreams about your teeth starting to fall out slowly or one by one are about trickles and tidbits,” Fourkiller says. “For me, this links to pieces of your life that you are letting fall by the wayside, or pieces of information that you are neglecting to harness in a way that would be purposeful to you.”


If you dream that they all fall out at once …

Loewenberg says that this happens when you said a lot of information all at once. “That usually comes people who are talkers and who just talk way too much and don’t know when to stop talking. These people that have this personality trait are typically aware of it. They get that dream, it’s a lot of things come out of their mouth all the time. But it can also happen when you’ve allowed something big out of your mouth. Like the more teeth that come out, the bigger the deal is of what you said. So if you’re trying to hold it in or you’re trying to catch the teeth, then that is connected to your realization of Oops, I shouldn’t have said that.”

Fourkiller says this dream could also be representative of a climactic life event: “A dream about your teeth falling out all at once points to something coming to a head, a dramatic event. Even if that event is overblown in your mind, it’s obviously important to your subconscious.”


If only a few of your teeth fall out in the dream …

“If it’s just a few teeth that come out instead of all of them, then again it would reflect a level of how much you’ve said.” Loewenberg urges you to look at the day before, because dreams will always be connected to something that happened the day before the dream. “Did you not give a whole truth? Did you only say half the story, so to speak?”


If all but one or two teeth fall out …

“If there’s just a little bit left,” says Loewenberg, “then you may still feel you have a little bit of dignity left after whatever it was you vomited out.”


If you dream that they fall out with a light tap …

“That little tap suggests that perhaps someone gave you just a little nudge to get this information out of you rather than you offering it up freely,” says Loewenberg. “For example, when you have a secret, or someone’s told you something, some kind of juicy gossip, you’ll hold it in. But if someone kind of brings it up, ‘Do you know anything?,’ gives you a little nudge, and then you spill the beans, that’s tapping.”


If they start splintering and splitting apart …

Like crumbling teeth, Loewenberg warns that this might also have to do with weak speech. “Then again, there’s a reason why it’s splintering or splitting as opposed to crumbling. The splitting could be compared to what you said the day before in an argument with someone where you were to the point [of] just splitting hairs. If you’re getting down to way too much detail that’s unnecessary at that point.”


If pieces of your teeth start chipping off …

Out of all the dreams of teeth falling out, Loewenberg says this is the one that she personally gets most frequently. “That would also be about not giving enough information. For example, I think I get it a lot because I go on the radio a lot and I explain dreams a lot. But I’ll get that teeth-chipping-off dream when I feel like I haven’t given enough information, like I feel like I didn’t explain myself well enough. I don’t feel like the person I was talking to fully understands what I was trying to explain to them.”


If you dream that your teeth start to grow crooked and push themselves out of your mouth …

“In this case, this will really affect how you look,” says Loewenberg “A lot of times in these dreams when the teeth are coming out or whatever’s going on with the teeth, we’ll look in the mirror because we have concern about how we look now. So that one would very much be you having anxiety about how you may now appear to others after what has been said. The crookedness also could be connected to lies.”


If they start to rot …

Loewenberg explains, “Rotting teeth can be one of two things. It can be connected to something that’s old, a kind of argument or grudge or situation that you’ve been discussing the previous day that’s old, and you’re getting tired of it. You’re subconscious is expressing that in the form of rotting teeth. It’s like we’ve gone over this a million times this is getting old. But it can also be connected to guilt over saying something that was really rotten and nasty.”

Fourkiller adds, “Rotting teeth are an intense, provocative image. For me, this points to something that the dreamer needs to pull out of their life. This removal is going to be painful, but it’s better gone than it is staying. At the end of the day, teeth are like bones (note: I am not a scientist). They are connected to blood and regular bone and tissue and nerves. They require a diligent hand to be dealt with, but they are essential to our everyday lives.”


If you dream that your teeth are retreating back into your gums …

“That one is big-time connected to really wishing you could take back what you said,” Loewenberg notes. “You wish you could just erase it. ‘Ugh, I can’t believe that I said that, what can I do to take this back?’ That one also can be fear of speaking up. I’m afraid to speak up about whatever this issue is. So instead of letting it out, I’m like pulling back completely.”


If your mouth is full of loose teeth in your dream …

“That one is where there is something that you need to speak up about but you haven’t yet. It’s like, I need to say this, I really need to speak up about this, I really need to confront this person about this, but you haven’t done it yet,” says Loewenberg. “You’re like on the verge, you’re so ready to. That’s why they’re loose. But you haven’t done it yet. At this point, your subconscious is presenting it to you in this way, so you can decide, Okay, is it best to go ahead and speak up about this or to keep my mouth shut? What is the best way to approach this?”


If they start falling out while you’re in the middle of a difficult task …

“Of course, it would also depend on the task you’re doing, Loewenberg says, “because every little detail matters. But if you’re in the process of doing something difficult and your teeth fall out and they’re not the entire focus of the dream, this could also be connected to not just communication but also action in real life that you’re having difficulty with. A lot of times when we face difficult issues, we don’t do anything. When you’re actively trying to tackle that difficult situation in real life — hence you’re dealing with something difficult in a dream — you’re actively trying to fix it and your teeth fall out, [it] could be a message from your subconscious to keep this to yourself, just work on this alone and don’t be complaining and gossiping about it.”


If they fall out in your dream and you can’t find them …

Loewenberg says that this could mean you’re having trouble finding the right words. “You know there’s something you need to say but you don’t know how to say it. How can I say this? Let me find the right words. Since the teeth have already come out, this could be trying to find the right words to correct what you’ve messed up by speaking without thinking.”


If you dream that they’re falling out while you’re hooking up with someone …

“You know how they say ‘less is more?’ This type of dream could happen when you’ve talked way too much in a conversation,” Loewenberg reveals. For example, sex in a dream actually isn’t about the physical act of sex, it’s more about connecting with someone on an emotional or psychological level. So this could indicate that you’ve had some kind of connection with someone with intimate conversation. But now you’re overthinking it, and thinking, Oh, maybe I shouldn’t have said this, oh, I said too much of that, but your dream is trying to reassure [you that] you guys connected, don’t worry about it.”

The takeaway: Recurring dreams about your teeth falling out are incredibly common and happen for myriad reasons. If you’re having dreams where your teeth are falling out, Loewenberg says that your subconscious is most likely trying to help you improve your communication skills. That said, there are some exceptions. “Sometimes, the loss of teeth or something happening to your teeth can also be about you feeling you’re losing power somewhere in your life,” Loewenberg says. “In the animal kingdom, your teeth are your ability to survive, to protect yourself, and to eat. Loss of teeth can, for some, mean they’re feeling like they’re losing their means to survive in some way.”

To start tackling the root of the dreams, Loewenberg advises keeping a dream journal. “I recommend writing your day-journal part on the left side of your journal and your dreams on the right side so you can have them next to each other and more easily connect the dots between what happened in your day to see how that affected what you dreamt that night.” This is a way for you to track patterns in your behavior and how your communication may be affecting your dreams.

Fourkiller is also a proponent of jotting dreams down. “I always recommend transcribing the dream somehow, especially if it’s recurring. I’m not picky about how you do it, but someplace that allows you to pick out themes and motifs is the best. Think about what is really stressing you lately. Is it something you’ve said? Something you didn’t say? What is going on around you? After writing that thing — or things — down, try to connect them back to what occurred in the dream. Are there any symbols you can recognize?”

Another important component, according to Fourkiller, is your frame of mind when your teeth dream took place. “Something I say to many a spiritual client is, ‘I know it’s hard to trust your intuition, especially if you’re struggling with mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression, but make sure you say aloud: ‘I refuse to take truth from my anxiety and depression. I am able to recognize the truth when I see it. I believe in my ability to reason. I only take the truth from my highest good.’ Even if you don’t fully believe it, you’ll be surprised how much it can help!”

If the dream is recurring, Loewenberg recommends examining it through the lens of how you’re communicating in your waking life: “If you’re getting the teeth dream a lot, really examine how well or how poorly you’re communicating with others. Do you need to listen more? Do you need to work on expressing yourself more? Do you need to speak up more? Do you need to be more confident in what you say? Do you need to be more tactful? All these little clues in your dreams are going to tell you that.”

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