Dream Theories: Losing Your Teeth/Power?

It’s Monday. Time for another dream theory post, based on the research I do for my sci-fi/fantasy Legacy series. What’s one of the scariest types of dreams I get asked about most? What does it mean when my teeth fall out in my dreams? I’ve had personal spooky moments with this theme myself, and it always gives me the creeps! Shudder. But what does it mean? You know, once I’ve raced to the mirror to make sure everything’s really okay…


First, as soon as you wake (or those of you who find yourself lucid while you’re dreaming, focus as soon as you become aware), ask yourself: were your teeth crumbling, breaking, falling out one by one? The momentum with which you’re losing them can be key. How rapidly, violently, emotionally is the loss happening?

Why? Because dreams about teeth tend to be about control, power, and what’s stopping you from exercising one or both of them in your life. So it follows that the momentum and circumstances surrounding your dream teeth loss might give you insight into the significance of whatever’s triggering the symbol’s appearance.

There are a variety of interpretations about teeth dreams. They’re one of the most common dreams, overall. Pretty much everyone’s experienced it at one time or another:

  • Freud would like us to believe they’re about…wait for it…castration anxiety. WhatEVER (I’m NOT a big Freud fan when it comes to dream interpretation. He always leads with his dangly parts. Someone along the way should have suggested he get a handle on his fixation. Literally.).
  • As far back as Artemidorus’ Oneirocriteria (The Interpretation of Dreams) it was suggested that loss of either the top or the bottom teeth can indicate upheaval in your household.
  • Calvin Hall found that not only do men tend to have teeth dreams more than women (Wow. Really? Just like men have more naked dreams? Hmmm….), but that the prevailing emotion he detected associated with teeth dreams was loss or misfortune. He took a more content approach to his study. Think about it. We lose our teeth spontaneously throughout our lives, through no fault of our own. It’s a loss we have no control over. So, is that the emotional dynamic our minds are working through when they call up this particular type of dream?
  • In Chinese and other cultures,baring your teeth is a sign of aggression/warfare, so losing them in your dreams can symbolize a loss of power.
  • Others have thought that, depending on the type/size of teeth you dream about losing, you could be experiencing a fear of aging (are you losing small/baby teeth or larger/older teeth?). Is it a fear of maturity or responsibility playing itself out in your nighttime fantasies?

But having said all that, and back to my original questions above (HOW are your teeth falling out in your dreams), a more modern interpretation suggests that that teeth dreams are about communication (or realization) of core issues in your life.

dream signs

We all deal with unconscious desires and needs and opinions that we hold back from either dealing with or communicating. As we grow older and wiser and perhaps braver, we learn to focus on and address these issues–that is, we learn to make them a conscious part of our world. We stop holding them back. And what could be a better symbol for your mind to use to tell you it’s time to step up or speak up or take your innermost desires and opinions in hand, than to break away the things that bar our thoughts from entering the world–our teeth?

When you have teeth dreams, try to focus on what’s happening around you when your teeth are affected. What emotions you’re feeling (besides panic), and who is around you when it happens, and what happens immediately after the event? What is the content of the dream itself, and how can you find a real-world way to act on them that would improve your circumstances or relationships or life?

I often ask friends when this type of dream comes up–What topic or goal or concern have you had for a long time that is starting to become more and more important to you? What’s going on in your life that you’re finally ready to deal with, that you’ve been holding back from for a long time? What do you need to say or do that you haven’t been able to before now? How can you claim that power and control and authenticity, if only you could speak up and not be afraid of what you know you need to say?

I’d like to think all dreams are a chance to better claim the joy and dreams we want to make reality in our waking lives. Teeth dreams, creepy as they might be, are in my opinion one of our BEST opportunities to do just that. Don’t miss your chance!

Next Monday’s Dream Theories post… Let’s talk about changing gender in dreams!!! I haven’t done this in my Legacy novels yet, but I’m having a lot of fun researching the symbolism. You never know what I’ll do with all this one day…

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4 Responses to “Dream Theories: Losing Your Teeth/Power?”

  1. I have dreams about my teeth constantly! Not always that they’re falling out (though that does definitely happen in them), but sometimes a crown will come out of a tooth or I’ll crack a tooth. And I always call the dentist in my dreams and try to make an emergency appointment. I wonder if that has it’s own meaning, LOL…

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