What Does it Mean to Dream of Your Teeth Falling Out?

Have you recently dreamed that your teeth are falling out? Here are some explanations that may be behind this common dream.
What Does it Mean to Dream of Your Teeth Falling Out?
Elena Sanz

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz.

Last update: 04 January, 2023

Dreaming about your teeth falling out, breaking, or rotting is among the most common dreams. According to some studies, up to 39% of people have had this dream at some time in their lives. It fact, it’s so common that in the acclaimed Disney movie, Inside Out, there is a dream-related scene in which the main character, Riley, has such an experience!

In the children’s movie, teeth falling out appears in a context of distress or embarrassment, but the truth is that there are multiple interpretations of dreaming about falling teeth. If this topic has recently been part of your nightly experiences, below, we’ll collect all the explanations of what it can mean to dream of your teeth falling out.

Dreaming of your teeth falling out: Possible explanations

In order to describe all the possible options, we’ll begin by explaining the objective reason for dreaming of your teeth falling out. According to research published in Frontiers in Psychology in 2018, the most reasonable explanation for dreaming about your teeth falling out is related to dental irritation.

In the study, experts found that a high percentage of participants reported dental irritation disorders after waking up- that is, there was jaw tension and bruxism. The authors conclude that the mind can carry over somatosensory stimuli from reality and incorporate them into dream stories to provide a warning or cautionary signal.

In other words, most people have dreams of fallen, cracked, or rotten teeth because there is an external or real sensation that creates this stimulus. It’s important to note that during the research, experts found no relationships for symbolic explanations.

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Other interpretations of dreaming about your teeth falling out

The above explanation stays on the objective level. It’s perfect for those who do not believe in dream interpretations. Although, of course, from this perspective, there’s much to point to in this regard. Let’s take a look at the analysis that can be made about dreaming about your teeth falling out.

Aging

The hypothesis that teeth falling out in dreams is related to a fear of getting older is advocated by some researchers. Indeed, one of the many characteristics associated with old age is a deteriorating set of teeth.

Therefore, dreaming about your teeth falling out is but one of the many manifestations of a fear of getting older. You may have reached an age that you believe marks the end of your youth, or you may have recently had a significant experience with an older person. In any case, this is a possible interpretation.

dreaming of teeth falling out
Aging is often associated with the deterioration of the oral cavity and teeth.

Anxiety and stress

If the above explanation does not satisfy you, the anxiety and stress hypothesis may. Think for a moment that some dental conditions, such as bruxism, have part of their origin in these two states. So, both stress and anxiety can also manifest in your dream experiences.

If you dream on an ongoing basis about your teeth falling out, breaking, or rotting, it may be a way for your mind to alert you that you are stressed. Sometimes, you may deal with these states so often that you don’t even realize it. It pays to take notice, as their negative effects are well cataloged.

Deteriorated health

One of the symptoms of good health is healthy teeth. The whiter, shinier, and more aligned the teeth are, the healthier the person is. This, of course, this is something we imagine in the collective unconscious.

Thus, it’s not unreasonable to think that dreaming about your teeth falling out is a way for you to alert yourself to the state of your health. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with a condition, are experiencing certain ailments, or have some emotional concerns, these dreams may refer to it.

Like this article? You may also like to read: What Does it Mean to Dream of Being Robbed?

Recent traumatic experiences

Traumatic experiences don’t have to be related to your health. Any type of trauma can translate into dreams of teeth falling out, from a car accident to an assault with a gun to the loss of someone you cared about.

At the same time, any worry that floods your mind can lead to this type of dream. Financial problems or problems in your relationship, as well as negative expectations regarding the future. It’s for this reason that dreaming that your teeth fall out is one of the most common types of dreams around the world.

dreaming of teeth falling out and stress
Stress and anxiety are, for many, the cause of a series of dreams that alert us of the negative effects of these states on health.

Dreaming that your teeth fall out is not serious

The objective explanation that we’ve pointed out at the beginning and these other four interpretations are the most common ones used when assessing this dream. Of course, there are many more. Some that we can’t fail to mention are the following:

  • The loss of a tooth or new tooth growth (more common in young people)
  • Jealousy
  • Periods of depression
  • Times of change (a new job, a move)
  • Dissatisfaction with life or work (studies exist to prove this)
  • Sexual impotence
  • Low self-esteem with respect to body image

Apart from anything else, and as the Sleep Foundation points out, it’s very likely that there’s nothing serious behind dreaming about your teeth falling out. There’s no evidence that dreams predict negative events in life.

Even so, and in case it gives you more security, you can make an objective assessment of your current life to try to find a relationship with what we have presented. You can also seek professional help, especially from a psychologist, to consider therapy if the dreams are recurrent.

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  • Coolidge, F. L., & Bracken, D. D. The loss of teeth in dreams: an empirical investigation. Psychological reports. 1984; 54(3): 931-935.
  • Rozen, N., & Soffer-Dudek, N. Dreams of teeth falling out: an empirical investigation of physiological and psychological correlates. Frontiers in psychology. 2018; 9: 1812.
  • Schneck, J. M. Dreams of loss of teeth symbolizing aging and disintegration. Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis. 1979; 7(3): 447-451.
  • Yu, C. K. C. Classification of typical dream themes and implications for dream interpretation. Neuropsychoanalysis. 2016; 18(2): 133-146

The contents of this publication are for informational purposes only. At no time can they serve to facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult with your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.