Dreaming about Teeth | Meaning of Teeth Dreams
Teeth are a common dream theme with a variety of possibilities for symbolism.
Anxiety and stress are a primary sources of dreams about problems with teeth. The figure of speech “grind your teeth” is associated with anxiety and stress, something that grinds you down. In dreams, ground down teeth are a physical representation of a personal situation—it shows how you feel.
Anxiety and stress can also be symbolized by teeth crumbling, falling out, or cracking. The symbolism is created by the connection between distress in your dream about your teeth and distress in your waking life. The condition and appearance of your teeth can be sources of anxiety and stress, giving dreams an association to work with.
Crumbling teeth in a dream can be a visualization of something in your life or yourself that is falling apart—health, self-image, a plan, a relationship.
Teeth Used by Dreams to Symbolize Loss
Another common connection is found with teeth and loss. Losing teeth is something everyone experiences. Dreams compare losing teeth with losing something else. For example, losing a molar can symbolize a miscarriage because molars are deeply embedded in the mouth and a fetus is deeply embedded in the womb. The same idea applies to losing a loved one, someone deeply embedded in your life.
Losing a front tooth can symbolize loss of prestige, status, or reputation. Front teeth are part of the face, so losing front teeth means losing part of your face—a dream’s way of saying someone “lost face.” If you dream about a tooth dropping out of the mouth of someone you know, it might mean your perception of the person has dropped. Or maybe that person lied to you. You might not even know it consciously, but instead know it subconsciously.
Losing teeth in a dream can mean you lose hope, lose touch with reality, lose out on an opportunity, lose your mind, lose faith, lose confidence, lose a relationship, or lose part of yourself—anything involving loss. Losing a tooth creates a gap, and a gap can symbolize something missing from your life. For example, you lose custody of a child or your child goes off to college and now you have a gap in your life.
Loss of teeth is associated with changes. Losing baby teeth and growing adult teeth are a rite of passage. That connection between teeth and personal change can be used to symbolize going through changes in yourself and/or in your life.
Also consider the connection between losing teeth and neglect. You can lose teeth or have issues with them because you neglect to care for them. Even if you take great care of your teeth, you are still aware of the association between losing teeth and neglecting them. The association can be used to create symbolism that connects loss with neglect.
For example, you lose a friend because you neglect the friendship (or they do). You lose an opportunity because you neglect to follow through.
Use of Teeth in Dreams to Symbolize Articulation
Anything involving the mouth in a dream can symbolize issues related to articulation and speech. For example, dreaming about teeth falling out while trying to speak to a group can symbolize fear of speaking in front of people.
Chewing on something like a big wad of gum can symbolize difficulty speaking or “chewing on your words.”
Chewing on glass or sharp objects can symbolize saying things that hurt people, or being careful to avoid saying something hurtful.
Swallowing something sharp after chewing it can symbolize repressing something sharp you want to say or express. It means you are holding something back. Chewing on something rubbery or gummy in a dream can symbolize chewing on a thought.
If you get nervous speaking to someone then dream about having issues with your teeth while in the presence of that person, you have a strong clue that the dream is related to nervousness. For example, next is a dream about teeth breaking while the dreamer is with his father [edited for brevity].
The dream starts with me and my father in a restaurant. We order some food and wait.
The food comes. Once I bite into the mashed potatoes, my canine tooth and some teeth behind that one break.
My father freaks out, so he rushes me to the dentist, and my dentist begins talking with my dad about dental implants. I spit out some remaining pieces of the broken teeth.
So I get the implants and walk across a bridge.
The dreamer is nervous around his father because he came out as transgendered to him. Dad’s son is now his daughter. In her own words, “I’m paranoid about how he takes me…as a woman.” The dental implants could refer to the mechanics of changing into a woman, which might include implanted body parts such as breasts. The bridge probably symbolizes the bridge between genders.
Teeth Symbolism: Social Status and Image
Teeth are closely related to social status. Clean, white, straight teeth indicate a person has the money to take good care of their teeth, whereas crooked, discolored, and missing teeth convey the opposite impression. Teeth in bad condition can make you self-conscious, and a dream could use feeling self-conscious about your teeth to symbolize feeling self-conscious about something else.
By extension, teeth in dreams can symbolize something related to the image you project and situations related to your social image and standing. For example, dreaming about a hollow tooth and being told by a dentist that the problem will fix itself in time connects with the dreamer’s worries about paying for college. Getting a degree is tied closely in his mind with the sort of social image he wants. He will figure out how to pay for it in time.
Also consider the connection between teeth and attractiveness. Attractive teeth can indicate attraction to someone or something such a subject or prospect.
Dream: Pulling or Removing Teeth
Removing teeth, or having them removed, can symbolize a loss that you initiate or acquiesce to, such as breaking off a relationship or leaving a job. If you pull your own teeth it might mean you are having difficulty getting yourself to do something (it’s like “pulling teeth.”), or you are thinking about ending a relationship. Also consider that your thoughts and feelings can be projected onto dream characters. So for instance you are having difficulty with your young child being obstinate, and dream about pulling your own teeth, symbolizing what it feels like getting your child to do what you ask.
Along this line, a dream about feeling some pain in a tooth and deciding to pull it, and ending up pulling five teeth, symbolizes the dreamer overreacting to something and almost ending a relationship because of it.
False teeth can symbolize lying and other false words that come out of your mouth. Since teeth are associated with giving impressions, consider that false teeth can symbolize giving a false impression. Use the link to read about a dream featuring false teeth.
Now take that idea a step further and consider that teeth are in the same mouth as your tongue, and they work together to form the sounds that we turn into words. This creates a strong association between teeth and what a person says, especially in relation to honesty and confidence in what you say. Next is a great example of this use of the symbolism, from a dream about teeth falling out I helped with at Reddit Dreams.
A bottom left tooth felt like there was food in it so naturally I tried to tongue it out. Well, when I did, the tooth popped out. But then the entire bottom left row of teeth fell out. But get this, they fell out with the gums they were attached to. I called my boyfriend and said, “This isn’t like the dreams I’ve had, this is real. My fucking teeth came out with the gums.” (I said that in the dream). Told him to get over here and take me to the hospital. While I was waiting for him, the rest (of my teeth and gums) started to come out in chunks. Top left side, bottom left, top right. Eventually I couldn’t even talk.
So I said:
Because the action of your teeth falling out occurs when you use your tongue, I wonder if the symbolism is related to something you said that is dishonest or at least less than truthful. And because you call your boyfriend, perhaps it involves him. It’s just a possibility. Does it ring a bell?
I don’t think so. I’ve never lied to him except for those little white lies.
And my reply:
And teeth are what color?
Also notice that by the end of the dream you can’t talk. That’s another clue pointing toward the same conclusion. White lies are still lies.
The dream amplified the seriousness of the situation to really get the dreamer’s attention. Her conscious attitude is that white lies are no big deal, but her unconscious mind, which produces dreams, sees no difference. A lie is a lie. She needs to know that her white lies register deep in her mind the same as other lies.
If you follow the first rule of dream interpretation and consider the obvious, a dream about a problem with your teeth can reflect worries about the condition of your teeth and the need to see a dentist. Also, if you are self-conscious about your teeth, a dream about them can simply be a reflection of your thoughts and feelings.
One more possibility is you might dream about an issue with your teeth because you grind them in your sleep.
To explore further, read a group discussion and discover some fantastic examples, check out this thread about teeth dreams.
I created a podcast about the meaning and symbolism of teeth in dreams. Listen below:
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