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Dreams of Tooth Loss and Meanings of Lost Teeth in Dreams

Updated on April 24, 2014

Interpreting Nightmares about Lost Teeth

Lost Teeth in Dreams Make for Nightmares
Lost Teeth in Dreams Make for Nightmares | Source

Lost Teeth as Symbols of Personal Loss and Grief

The bottom line to teeth that fall out is dreams is obvious: something important is lost.

The loss of teeth in dreams can symbolize a fear of losing possessions, a fear of losing a part of one's self, or may symbolize feeling regarding actual losses felt in the waking world.

If one has recently acquired something precious, one may natural fear losing that which one has sought so long to attain. This fear can be symbolized in lost teeth.

If one has entered into or is contemplating entering into a relationship, one may fear losing part of one's self to the relationship. If one has such feelings, they deserve examination. Are they expressions of anxiety or reality?

Will the considered relationship do what relationship should--contribute to one's growth and improvement--or will does one somewhere in the back of the mind already know what one does not want to admit to the self--that the relationship will result in diminishment of the individual?

Tooth loss dreams are also symbols par excellence for the expression of grief over losing a loved one.

When death takes someone away, it does so without warning--even when the death is anticipated. Death is something over which one has no control, no power, no sway, no say or voice.

Similarly, the powerlessness to prevent the exit of dream teeth is found symbolically in tooth loss nightmares.

Death leaves an emptiness, a hollow emptiness that is paradoxically all-consuming. The hollowness of an empty space formerly filled by a tooth, a prominent hollowness on public display, embodies the feelings of grief one feels when a loved one is lost.

Introduction to Tooth Loss Nightmares

Dreams of teeth falling out, crumbling away, melting, disintegrating, empty holes with no discernable source to blame for the absence of teeth, no place to put blame so as to stop the dentals from disappearing.

Dreams revolving around tooth loss are not only one of the most common of all dreams, they are also the most prevalent source of recurring nightmares.

What are some of the primary interpretations for teeth that fall out in dreams?

  • Powerlessness
  • Loss of personal possessions or personal loss
  • Feelings of grief
  • Control Issues
  • Malnutrition
  • Embarrassment
  • Fear of failure
  • Abandonment

Why do tooth loss dreams carry such negative symbolism?

In the waking world, the only time tooth loss is a cause for celebration is when one is a child anxiously awaiting the tooth fairy's arrival.

After childhood ends, tooth loss and the reasons for it, are no longer cause for celebration. After childhood teeth fall out only due to illness or age. The only entity one awaits when adult teeth are lost is death.

No matter how teeth fall out in dreams, tooth loss nightmares share elicit common emotions of distress. There is a hopelessness, a helplessness, a powerlessness, and a bewilderment that accompanies tooth loss dreams.

Just as there is an emotional similarity found in tooth loss nightmares, there is also a similarity in themes.

Despite the variance in imagery, teeth that fall out in dreams do so in entirely unnatural ways.

There is no explanation for the tooth loss nor is there any way to stop the teeth from falling out once they decide to leave.

Typically, one tooth disappears follow by all the rest, for no discernable reason. All the dreamer can do in response is gape in horror over the dental destruction.

What does this symbolize, this common theme? Read on and learn more.

Power and Control Are Not Synonymous

Power Is Not Controlling or Domineering
Power Is Not Controlling or Domineering | Source

Control Issues, Loss of Integrity

Control and power are often not synonymous.

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 actually determine one's own destiny. When one lacks power, one seeks to control others.

Control often implies bullying, coercion, and manipulation. Control is born of cowardice.

Tooth loss dreams can indicate control issues and can be wake up calls for one to consider one's relationship with the outer world.

Does the dreamer believe in himself, believe in his authentic ability to affect positive change in his world?

Or does the dreamer, fearful of the future, fearful that he lacks the necessary resources to survive seek to preserve himself by controlling others.

Once one begins traveling the road of coercing others, once one begins shoring up one's own world through by demeaning the lives of others, once one holds another hostage via the violence of control--lying about another, attempting to silence another, clinging to a relationship long past its prime--one has lost one's integrity.

Integrity refers to a state of wholeness, of being sufficient. When one seeks to control another, one is operating from a space of deficiency, a space of lack--the antithesis of wholeness.

What could more accurately portray the loss of wholeness than a mouthful of emptiness on display to the world?


There is a helplessness that accompanies dreams about tooth loss.

The dream imagery involved in tooth loss nightmares is confounding. While dreams often lack rational cohesion or a linear story line, when teeth fall out in dreams, the image of the teeth falling out is almost the dream in its entirety.

The dreamer either looks in the mirror to find gums filled with holes, or watches in horror as all of the teeth crumble away before her eyes.

There is no beginning to the dream, no middle point, no action which gives the dreamer any clue as to why her teeth are falling out. The entire dream is encapsulated in the image of the lost teeth.

The powerlessness one feels in dreams of tooth loss can mirror similar feelings found in waking life.

Typically, when one feels powerless one has no idea why. One cannot remember how one came to feel so helpless or how the person or situation took away one's person power or why one allowed another such power over him. The root of the problem cannot be discerned neither can the action to remedy the situation be traced.

Since tooth loss dreams are often recurrent, it might behoove the dreamer to examine her waking life to discover if feelings of powerlessness or issues regarding the ceding of personal power to others is a constant issue.

If one sees a pattern to waking life behavior, one 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 of herself:

  • Who do I speak to when I voice my needs or concerns?
  • Who do I need to hear me but feel is not listening?
  • 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?

While many people often feel powerless or unable to affect certain situations, the truth is that for many of those people that feeling of powerlessness does not accurately reflect reality.

If, for example, one feels trapped in or controlled by a relationship, one needs to honestly examine if one is expressing one's needs, feelings, desires, and hopes for the relationship to the partner.

If one takes those steps, voices needs and concerns, and puts in all the effort one can, and change doesn't come, perhaps it is time to end the relationship.

Feelings of powerlessness often reflect self-imposed traps, traps one willingly remains stuck in because reclaiming power often equals taking painful action.

Lost Teeth Nightmares Really Eat at Dreamers

Nightmares about losing teeth can eat a dreamer alive
Nightmares about losing teeth can eat a dreamer alive | Source

Fear of Failure and 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 world perusal.

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.

Not a Pretty Picture or Dream Image

Not a pretty picture or dream image
Not a pretty picture or dream image | Source

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.

Dreams of losing teeth can mirror waking life fears of abandonment.

Dream teeth abandon the dreamer's mouth in much the same way abandonment happens in the waking world--without warning, without reason, without provocation, without remedy.

When tooth loss dreams symbolize abandonment a crucial distinction must be made.

Has one actually experienced abandonment or does one fear an abandonment that has yet to occur?

If one has actually experienced abandonment in the waking world, tooth loss nightmares can symbolize the painful emotions felt by being left behind.

Actual abandonment requires grieving over one's loss and reassessing the connections with others.

One must take a hard look at who it is that one relies upon and decide if those individuals are deserving of such trust. One must establish whether or not one continually falls for the wrong person or misjudges the character of the people one chooses to enter into relationship with.

Fear of abandonment can be a long-standing issue, sometimes going back as far as early childhood. Many abuse victims fear abandonment since many abuse victims blames themselves for their abuse. Feeling that there is something wrong at their core causes abuse victims to believe that their abuse was somehow justifiable.

Beliefs such as these are attempts at explaining the unexplainable, for giving reason to unreasonable behaviour. They are ironic attempts at taking control over the abuser by assigning blame to themselves who they feel they can control rather than placing the blame on a person over whom the victim had no power, control, means or method to stop.

Abuse victims often feel as though there is something wrong with them, something undefinable, something that exists in their core that makes them either targets for abuse or for being used then discarded. 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.

Losing Teeth Can Cause Lost Sleep

Dream Symbols:  Tooth Loss
Dream Symbols: Tooth Loss | Source


Outside of aging and accidents, the primary reason for waking life tooth loss is malnutrition.

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 in dreams may 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.

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.

Tooth loss dreams 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.

Riding the Unicorn During Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Do Hippos Dream of Losing Teeth?

Do this hippo have tooth loss nightmares?
Do this hippo have tooth loss nightmares? | Source


Tooth loss dreams, like hair loss dreams, are rarely pleasant as these interpretation reveal.

However, bear in mind that dreams are usually indicators of how the psyche feels more so than harbingers of what is to come.

By adequately examining one's waking life, emotions, and spiritual state, tooth loss dreams will fade quickly instead of blossoming into waking life nightmares.


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    • EsmeSanBona profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Macon

      Thank you all! I would have responded WAY sooner, but have been battling some health issues. Don't want anyone thinking I don't care or do not appreciate taking time to comment!

    • Voronwe profile image


      6 years ago

      Great hub. I never thought these type of dreams had a meaning or that they were common. During my childhood and teens, I had tons of tooth loss dreams. Often they would crumble away or dissolve. Many times as a child, I wasn't able to recognize it as just a dream- so imagine my surprise when I saw them intact in my reflection! Now these dreams absolutely feel terrifying- maybe because there are always accompanied by a sense of overwhelming dread.

    • profile image

      stephen kalu 

      7 years ago

      Nice hub, never knew what it meant until now. Thanks a lot.

    • Kimberly D King profile image

      Kimberly D King 

      7 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Thanks for the photos! haha :P Keep up the hubs, girl! I love dream interpretations!!


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