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Why am I dreaming my teeth are falling out? A dream interpreter breaks it down

When missing molars start popping up in your dreams or nightmares, here's what to know.
Holding tooth
Ivanova Tetyana / Shutterstock

Those teeth dreams you’ve been having? They have a message and a meaning that may surprise you.

As a professional dream analyst and the author of “The Alchemy of Your Dreams,” I help people come to insights about recurrent patterns and symbols that pop up in their dreams — and dreams about teeth are among the most common.

Dreams have been proven to help regulate negative emotion and process what’s going on in our lives. In a previous interview with, Adriane Soehner, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh and the director of the Pitt Sleep, Affective Neuroscience, and Development Lab, said dreams have a “functional” purpose, aiding with “memory, emotional processing and sensory processing.”

In my mind, dreams are gifts, even the ones that scare us or make us uncomfortable, like dreams about snakes or teeth.

Let’s get into what it means when missing molars start popping up in your dreams ... or nightmares.

What is the symbolic and spiritual significance of teeth in dreams? 

Teeth represent our ability to communicate

As general dream symbols, teeth represent our ability to nourish ourselves and communicate.

When teeth appear in dreams, the dreamer should reflect on whether they are able to speak their truth and communicate effectively.

If teeth in any scenario appear in your dreams, ask yourself: Are you suppressing how you feel? Are you saying what you mean? Are you showing up as your true self? Are you acting and speaking from a place of integrity or are you speaking reactively?

This is a time to pay attention to how you feel and if you are taking care of yourself.

They also symbolize anxiety

Various versions of dreams of teeth falling out can be indicative of an anxious mind. There may be something in your waking life that you need to address. Likely, the issue concerns you losing some form of control, or something of value.

This kind of dream may also signify that you are worried about appearances, aging, or losing control in certain aspects of your life. 

What is the meaning of different teeth dream scenarios?

If you dream your teeth are falling out:

If you dream your teeth are falling out, you may be feeling unbalanced or self-sabotaging.

On a pragmatic level, teeth help us to break our food down to bite sizes so that we can actually digest our food properly. So, when you have a dream in which you lose your teeth, you lose this ability. 

In other words, is there a situation in your life in which you feel like you can not nurture or sustain yourself? Is there an action that you are doing that is not optimal for your health?

Your dream could be alerting you to something that is out of balance in your life, spiritually speaking, and that needs to be addressed. Ask yourself what you aren’t able to “chew on” or “stomach” in your own life.

If you dream your teeth fall out one by one:

Teeth that fall out in this pattern signals a chain reaction happening for a dreamer. It’s a message to pay attention to what is consequential. What is the cause and effect happening in the dreamer’s life?  

This could be a sign to get things in order. Otherwise, there will be an effect that results in losing something meaningful to you.

If you dream your teeth fall out all at once: 

This is a signal to pay attention to what feels catastrophic in your life. Without your teeth, you can’t say what you need to say or nurture yourself.

You may feel scared about something fundamental in your life and need to come back to center and begin to focus. Or, you're being told you can avert a crisis that might come up.

If you dream your teeth are crumbling:

If your teeth are crumbling in a dream, things may feel like they’re all falling apart — or, they certainly look that way.

If the front teeth are crumbling, you issue may be more appearance-based. If it's the molars or back teeth, the issue is more foundational and symbolic.

If you dream your teeth are cracking:

This is a message to pay attention to the cracks in the foundations in your life: Relationships, work, food, communication.

If you dream your teeth are bleeding:

This has to do with the gums more than teeth. When people’s gums bleed, it signals an underlying issue. The dream is advising the dreamer rectify the issue before it becomes a problem. Also, pay attention to what you feel like is flowing out of your life.

If you dream your teeth are rotting:

Maybe you said something you regret. Maybe you regret not saying something. Either way, there is something rotten in your life you need to remove. 

A cracked tooth can be fixed; a rotten tooth has to be removed for the mouth to remove to a state of well-being. If the tooth is rotten, reflect on what is rotting in your life to return to well-being. 

If you dream your teeth are falling out at the dentist’s office:

In this case, you may be solving a problem or resolving an issue without an expert or an authority. If you arrive at the dentist’s office but the dentist isn’t the person to pull out the tooth, it’s like saying there’s something you can do on your own before an expert needs to step in. 

Essentially, you may be able to heal yourself.

If you dream you don’t have any teeth:

If a person looks in the mirror and has no teeth, the meaning would be more about appearance: You’re looking at yourself.

If you dream you’re in braces:

If the dreamer has braces in real life, the dream is negotiating something about that change. 

If a person doesn’t have braces and doesn’t need them, the dream has to do with the idea of straightening things out. This could have to do with physical appearance, but could also be related to living spaces, relationships and communication. 

If you dream of food being stuck in your teeth:

This may have to do with nervousness about how you look or being embarrassed in front of other people. 

If you dream of loose teeth:

It’s on the nose, but something has come loose for you. A situation you were hoping for doesn’t pan out. Or, perhaps you unexpectedly lost something of value through no fault of your own — unlike rotten teeth, which are more self-inflicted.