You have certainly dreamed that you lost a few teeth, or even all of your teeth. And for good reason, this dream is very common. Our dear Sigmund Freud called them “ typical dreams ”, in other words frequent and recurring. Exactly like those famous dreams during which we find ourselves naked in public, unable to cry out or those during which we fall.
When it comes to interpretation, anything is possible. In the collective imagination, a dream in which one is toothless is a sign of the imminent death of a loved one. If the symbolism is a bit quick, this dream is nonetheless a bad omen. We take stock of the various translations.
Many people dreamed that they were losing their teeth. It has been circulated among people that tooth loss would portend the death of a loved one … because teeth are exposed skeletal tissue, and tooth loss means “separation of flesh and blood.” This type of dreaming usually causes deep anxiety. Let’s take a look at the specific explanations for dreaming about tooth loss and the other kinds of dreams about teeth.
Why do we dream?
Perhaps the most common question about dreams is: “Why are we dreaming?” “. Various theories and laboratory studies of sleep help to better understand the multiple functions of dreams. For example, polysomnographic recordings (PSG) provide essential information on the potential contribution of dreams to memory functions and emotional regulation. As you would expect, there is still no hard and fast answer, but here are the theories that have kept researchers from sleeping for the past 10 or 15 years.
●Dreams have an evolutionary function . One way to look at the function of dreams is to ask what adaptive role dreams may have played in our ancestral environment. The most cited model is that of threat simulation theory (TSM) . Essentially, this theory is based on the idea that the dream has evolved into a mechanism to simulate threatening events and to test possible ways of avoiding or surviving them.
●Dreams intervene in the consolidation of memory . It is now well established that sleep plays a vital role in the development of memory and learning (see “ Why sleep? ”). Some sleep researchers believe that dreams come into play in these processes, which means that a subjective experience like dreaming would help to remember a certain moment in life or to learn such and such a thing.
●Dreams help regulate emotions . For some clinicians and researchers, dreams are a form of “nighttime therapy” that helps absorb and integrate personal emotional experiences, especially negative emotions, into sleep security. As such, dreams can be viewed as a natural mechanism for stress management and emotional regulation.
●Dreams help solve problems. As discoveries, inventions and works of art are mainly inspired by dreams, some are thus led to believe that dreams also help to find solutions to one’s problems. But while dreams can and sometimes do lead to wonderful discoveries, the fact remains that very few dreams have this problem-solving function.
How to decipher a dream?
Paying attention to our dreams would allow us to reconnect with ourselves. Indeed, “the dream will reveal our blockages, our traumas, our neuroses, our skills, our gifts, our fundamental identity”, underlines the onirologist and psychoanalyst Tristan Frédéric-Moir. But do we still have to remember it and especially be able to understand the delusional stories that our unconscious gives us.
What we know about the dream is only the memory we have of it when we wake up. Unfortunately, the blur is often total. Lack of memory, snatches of dreams … “According to psychoanalysis, we do not always remember our dreams because repression will take place if it displeases us”, he adds. In addition to the repression, not focusing on our dreams upon waking up inevitably causes them to fall into oblivion.
One thing is certain: interpreting our dreams can shed light on what is going on inside us. So, to our flashlights and on to the exploration.
Interpretation of dream about falling teeth
Experts have debated for years why we dream and what types of dreams we have. Some believe that dreams are the key to understanding our subconscious, while others see them as arising only from natural biological processes. However, having a very specific type of dream can be meaningful, especially if it is recurring. One of these dreams is about your teeth falling out, which is mainly caused by psychological stress. Your health, culture, and general mental health could all play a role in exactly why you dream of your teeth.
One of the most common interpretations of your teeth falling out in a dream relates to some deep personal loss. It may be related to:
- the loss of a loved one
- the end of a marriage / partnership
- the loss of a job
- the loss of a home.
Some religions also believe that dreaming about the loss of a tooth may mean that there will soon be a death in your family.
Apart from personal losses, religion can play another role in causing dreams about falling teeth. This may be the case if your beliefs lead to concerns about your future and your destiny, or if you are worried about what may happen in the future.
Stress, whether at work or at home, is a normal part of life. However, uncontrolled stress can develop into physical reactions. Dreams about falling teeth are definitely a symptom if you are more stressed than normal.
Although stress and anxiety are sometimes mentioned together, anxiety is a longer term condition in which you feel excessive worry and insecurity which can interfere with your daily life. Anxiety can cause teeth grinding at night, which is one of the causes of dreams about your teeth.
Another possibility is that anxiety makes you fear that something is going wrong to an extreme level, which is why your teeth fall out.
Major changes underway
Stress and anxiety can both be linked to major changes coming in your life. Whether you have a new job or an upcoming promotion, move to a new city, or get married and have children, all of these scenarios can affect your subconscious. You may worry about things that may possibly go wrong with the new changes in your life which can lead to dreams of tooth loss.
Depression involves long-term feelings of extreme guilt, hopelessness, and sometimes loneliness. When you have low self-esteem, you may also start to imagine health problems.
If you’re jealous of your partner, friend, or coworker, repressed negative energy can affect your subconscious while you sleep. Such feelings can lead to delusional dreams, like those about your teeth.
Someone else is losing their teeth
Dreams about falling teeth are not necessarily attributed to your teeth. It is also possible to dream that other people are losing their teeth. Possible scenarios include children who lose their baby teeth, or perhaps accidents in adults who have their teeth broken. You may even dream of an older adult losing their teeth. It can shed light on the negative feelings you have for that other person.
The grinding of teeth
While grinding your teeth can lead to subconscious thoughts about your teeth falling out, the reverse scenario is also possible. Dreaming about your teeth falling out may cause you to grind your teeth in your sleep.
This is perhaps one of the scenarios that seems the most obvious. If you recently had a tooth that fell out or broke, you may also dream about this event. It is also possible to dream that other teeth are falling out, especially if the initial event was traumatic.
Grow new teeth
For young children and adolescents who have not yet lost their baby teeth, it is possible to dream about the growth of new (permanent) adult teeth.
Be sure to talk to and reassure your child that their teeth are secure and that it takes time for their new adult teeth to grow.
Poor personal health
If you are no longer taking care of yourself, you may not be eating well and exercising the way you should. It is more than likely that a lack of attention to your personal health has also resulted in poor quality of sleep. It is possible to have unusual or recurring dreams, such as those where your teeth are falling out, which means that you are not taking care of yourself.
Why is this such a common dream?
While dreams of falling teeth seem unusual and disturbing, they are surprisingly common. Recurring dreams, especially nightmares, tend to be more common in people with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. However, dreams of falling teeth can get beyond your sanity.
These dreams can be about:
- your health and well-being
- personal challenges
- periods of growth
- maybe nothing out of the ordinary at all
The fact remains that dreams of falling teeth are among the most common. These visions are also intercultural. While religion can sometimes play a role in your subconscious and the dreams that come with it, not being religious can cause you to dream about your teeth as well. There is even historical evidence related to dreams of tooth loss, with discussions of these dreams dating back to the ancient Greeks.
What is the psychological significance of the dream of losing teeth?
Anxiety about the loss
Teeth are part of our body. According to psychological analysis, dreaming of losing teeth is actually related to separation or loss. Our subconsciously fear of losing a close relative, friend or close relationship with us, this anxiety will promote people have such dreams, which prompt us to take action to solve the problems we are facing.
Symbolizes psychological regression or growth
Tooth loss can also express two opposing feelings: one is the pain of aging, because people will lose their teeth when they are old; the other is the joy of growing up, because when children get older they have to lose their baby teeth and replace them with new ones. No matter how old the dreamer is, as long as he feels old or old fashioned, he can have the old dream of losing his teeth. Likewise, as long as he feels himself growing up, abandoning the old and looking for the new, he can make the latter dream of losing his teeth.
We can quarrel with others
One communicates with others through the mouth and teeth grow in the mouth, so teeth are linked to a person’s interpersonal communication. So, tooth loss can indicate that one may have a problem in interpersonal communication with others. This implies that we must do our best to show others our friendship and ease in the process of interacting with others in order to build a friendlier relationship with them.
Symbolizes the desire to lose weight
One of the biggest functions of teeth is to chew food, and if the tooth is lost, its subtext is actually that you can’t chew food, and why one wanted to refuse to chew food? We know that obesity is closely linked to overeating. If the teeth have fallen out, we certainly will not be able to eat more and will therefore naturally lose weight. Therefore, dreaming of losing teeth also symbolizes that the dreamer himself feels too fat and wants to lose weight.
Different types of dreams about teeth and their meaning
Dreams about teeth – no matter whether they loose, fall out, break or even rot – are said to affect 39% of the world’s population. That means that every night, a little over a third of people living on planet Earth dream of their teeth!
If you lose all of your teeth
You find yourself in an impasse… You are unable to understand a situation or you cannot see at all how you could solve a particular problem. Worried, you feel like something is missing. You don’t know how to ask for help.
If your teeth start to fall out, one by one
Are you good at keeping a secret? Maybe you do, normally, but you seem to feel a little remorseful, like you’ve shared too many details or said something outright that you shouldn’t reveal. In short, you feel guilty and you would like to go back, but what is said, is said.
If only a few of your teeth fall out
Subconsciously, you are finally pulling yourself out of a toxic situation – or relationship. You’ve come to realize that this couldn’t go on any longer and you are ready to pick up, let go, little by little, and move on. This type of dream is positive: you are moving forward, ready to accept your past mistakes because you know they will help you build a stronger future! It’s great for boosting your self-esteem.
If your teeth turn yellow or black and start to rot
You feel like you are about to lose something important… For example, someone close to you is drifting away from you or your career is in trouble. This situation saddens you the most and even though you feel the end coming, you hold on to it like a lifeline. This dream is there to help you slowly prepare to say “goodbye”. Even though it seems rather negative, who knows, something very positive can come from this sudden change in your life ?!
Meaning of dreams – a little history
Dreams have fascinated humanity since its beginnings – the first accounts of dreams, found in Mesopotamia, date back more than 5000 years! – it is from the 20th century that the sciences really look into their meaning.
On the one hand, Sigmund Freud considers the dream as ” the royal road to the unconscious “. The psychoanalyst thus suggests that the dream is the ” guardian of sleep ” which disguises an unavowable desire to transform it into images and symbols, thus making it acceptable to the eyes of consciousness. ” Every dream is a desire realized and there are no other dreams than dreams of desire ” he affirms.
On the other hand, Carl Gustav Jung believes that there is a “collective unconscious”, that is to say a universal background of images and symbols (nourished by myths, religions, legends, which the dream draws on to help us build our personality – our “real self”. The symbol present in the dream ” does not conceal, it teaches “, affirms the psychiatrist.
How can you better remember your dreams?
Since dreams can be a source of entertainment, spark personal interest, creativity, or encourage self-exploration, some people try to remember their dreams as much as possible. Some people write them down in a sleep diary so that the fragile memories of what they dreamed to not fade over time.
●Before bed, tell yourself that you will remember your dreams. Research has shown that autosuggestion, combined with sufficient motivation, works for many.
●When you wake up in the morning, try to remember what went through your mind. To do this, try to relax and keep your eyes closed. Don’t think about the day ahead, focus on any images that emerge or feelings that you may have experienced while sleeping.
●Keep a pen and paper (your dream journal) or a voice recorder (a cell phone will do) on your nightstand and start recording the dreams you remember.
●Some people also like to share their dreams with the person sharing their bed or with their family over breakfast.
What if bad dreams or nightmares bother you?
Restless dreams and nightmares are not necessarily harmful, but they can cause great suffering. For some people, they can act as a natural coping mechanism, especially during times of emotional stress, or they can appear after watching a horror movie. However, if the nightmares are affecting your emotional well-being or other aspects of your daytime functioning, you should see a sleep or mental health professional.
Do not ignore painful or trying dreams that come back chronically, as they can be indicative of psychological or medical problems. Over time, distressing dream experiences like nightmares can lead to fear of going to bed and loss of sleep. This is true for children as well as for adults.
For someone, it can be helpful to tell about their bad dreams and nightmares to trustworthy people; others will benefit from just writing a reworked version of these dreams. The element of the nightmare thus modified does not matter: it can be the beginning, the end, a small detail or anything that seems “appropriate” to the dreamer. Children can do the same using the drawing. Do this every time you come out of a bad dream or nightmare. This technique, known as mental imagery therapy (TIM), has been shown to be effective in both adults and children.