Actions and details involving teeth are a common dream theme with a variety of possibilities for meaning and symbolism. I’ll teach you how to interpret the meaning of teeth dreams and what it means when teeth crack, fall out, or are missing.
The #1 culprit behind stressful teeth dreams: anxiety. Anxiety grinds a person down, and anxiety is a big reason why people physically grind their teeth together. In dreams, grinding teeth or ground down teeth are a physical representation of a personal situation—it sums up the reality of your situation and how you feel. What better way of visualizing when you feel ground down, worn out, stressed or anxious?
Internalized anger is another source of dreams about grinding teeth. It can also manifest as actually grinding your teeth in your sleep and waking up with your jaw cramped and sore.
Dreaming about teeth crumbling, falling out, or cracking are other ways of visualizing the effects of stress, anxiety, and anger. Something “distressed” shows the effects of stress. Dreaming about distress because of your teeth can often be traced directly to a source of distress in your life.
The appearance and condition of your teeth can be a source of distress in life, too, and your dreaming mind can use one type of distress to mean another. For example, a person in distress over their physical attractiveness can dream about it as distress over the condition or appearance of their teeth. Dreams create the symbolism through association between attractive appearance and attractive teeth.
Crumbling teeth in a dream can be a visualization of something in your life or yourself that is falling apart, such as your health, your self-image, a plan, or a relationship. The crumbling teeth are a dream metaphor that sums up the dynamics of the situation and your feelings about it.
[Metaphors are common in dreams. Here’s a list of teeth-related metaphors.]
I created an audio lesson about the meaning and symbolism of teeth in dreams. Listen below:
Dreams: the symbolic relationship between teeth and loss
Losing teeth is something everyone experiences, and 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 (and the womb is a dark, moist, enclosed space same as the mouth is). The same idea applies to losing someone who is deeply embedded in your life. A loved one dies or a close relationship ends and you dream about it as losing teeth.
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 “lose 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 if it happens while the person is speaking, it can mean the person lied to you. You might not even know it consciously, but you do know it subconsciously and it shows in your dreams.
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 in your mouth, 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. A guy dreams about looking into his mouth and seeing that a tooth is missing. He has a “gap” in his ability to pay his bills.
Losing teeth is associated with changes. Losing baby teeth and growing adult teeth are a rite of passage, another way of saying “big change.” Dreams can use the connection between changes and losing teeth to symbolize going through changes in yourself and your life.
Also consider the connection between losing teeth and neglect. You can lose teeth 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.
Dreams: teeth and speaking or articulation
Anything involving the mouth in a dream can symbolize subjects related to articulation and speech, and dreaming about teeth is the most common theme.
For example, dreaming about teeth falling out while trying to speak to a group can symbolize fear of speaking in front of people. Dreaming about chewing on something like a big wad of gum that interferes with ability to speak can symbolize difficulty speaking. Dreaming about 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.
Blow is a description of 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.
Knowing how dreams use symbolic relationships between teeth and speaking, do you see the possibility that the above dream shows the dreamer’s nervousness around his father? I asked him about it, and he said yes, he’s nervous around his father because he came out as transgendered to him. Dad’s son is now his daughter, and dad doesn’t know how to react. He hasn’t been saying much about it. In her own words, “I’m paranoid about how my father 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 public image
Teeth closely relate 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 the image you project and 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 to something such a subject or prospect.
Dream: pulling or removing teeth
Dreaming about removing teeth 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’s behavior and dream about pulling your own teeth, symbolizing what it feels like getting your child to do what you ask. Tooth are hard to pull out; correcting a child’s behavior can be hard, too.
Along this line, a dream about feeling tooth pain, 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.
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 amplifies 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.
Read a group discussion and discover some fantastic examples in this thread about teeth dreams.
In my experience as RadOwl at Reddit.com I run across many posts about dreams involving teeth. In this post you see how versatile teeth are as dream symbols. It’s no wonder that dreams featuring teeth are among the most common types.
You can learn how I interpret dreams in the book below.
RadOwl’s Crash Course in Dream Interpretation
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