According to Freud, dreams where your teeth fall out express anxiety triggered by sexual repression and wanting to be nurtured. This imagery, which can be quite disturbing, has the tendency to appear when the person is going through moments of transition that are important in their life. They can also have other meanings, both positive and negative.
- It can symbolize insecurities: when a person dreams that their teeth are falling out, it can also be associated with important life changes and loss. These changes can provoke feelings of vulnerability and insecurity in connection with those changes that are happening. The changes don’t have to be abrupt to manifest themselves with these images. What is a constant is they are emotionally charged and the way they are expressed is through the symbolic falling of teeth.
- Costly compromises are being made: sometimes one is at crossroads and is in a way forced to make a compromise or make a decision that will not be satisfying to you or will throw your life out of balance. When faced with limited options in front of an important life choice, teeth falling in your dreams is a common occurrence. It symbolises that the risk one is taking could end up being quite costly.
- It can also point out an unwillingness to take a decision: this interpretation can go in hand with the previous one, where the person has to make a choice, but stands still at the crossroads without choosing the path to take.
- Concerns with self-image: this includes a fear of aging or losing one’s ability to be productive or efficient. This anxiety will remind us about problems that might be going on in our daily lives that involve assertiveness, self-esteem, or decision-making.
- According to Freud…: Freud points out that teeth falling out in a dream is a symbol of castration and fear regarding the male genitals. So when this dream came up, in both men and women, he thought that it could be associated to anxiety caused by sexuality or the sexual interaction between the dreamer and their partner.
When interpreting dreams, an important consideration is that when there’s a seemingly negative message behind it, one should also look for the other side of the story, one that can in turn be positive. Teeth falling out can also mean that there are positive changes happening in the person’s life.
- Signs of personal expansion: a more modern perspective on dream interpretation states that teeth are a symbol of growing up, developing yourself and expanding. While a tooth falling out in childhood represents the loss of a part of us, an important part of us, it can also be seen as the beginning of the transition to a new stage in life. So these dreams can be interpreted as a sign that you’re changing into something new, a better, more experienced you.
- Wishing to be nurtured: this can take us back to a time when we didn’t have teeth and we were nourished by our mothers. Sometimes when faced with problems that can seem insurmountable and challenging decisions, we just want to go back to that moment in life when we were protected. The positive spin this has is that it’s a symbol of potential growth when you look closely at the balance between what you need and what the moment is asking of you.
- Strength and self-esteem: teeth are usually seen as symbols of personal power and self-esteem. If the content of the dream includes violence, then the dream can be expressing aggressiveness or personal strength. It can be an invitation to look at the way one is using their instincts and primal drives in our personal lives on a daily basis.