Hi Dreamers -
Dreams of teeth falling out are common. Often these dreams reflect concerns over our physical appearance, as our smile is one of the first things people notice when they meet us. But as these three reports show, dreams about teeth can reflect a variety of concerns.
In the first report, our anonymous teenager from Sewickley writes that his dreams are literally about teeth falling out. Anyone who has undergone extensive dental work, or been around someone who has, can relate to this. The more work that is required, the more concerned we will be - and this concern is bound to show up in our dreams.
The second dream report is similar, but different in the sense that Karen’s dream may actually be a reflection of nocturnal teeth-grinding - called bruxism - occurring during sleep. It is estimated that 10-20% of the general population experiences bruxism, although only 10% of this group ever require treatment. In this case, Karen may be incorporating her teeth-grinding activity into the story-line of her dream, which explains her recurring dreams of her molars falling out. Recently, however, a front tooth was involved. Does this mean she is beginning to worry about her appearance?
The last dream leaves more room for symbolic interpretation. Is Sandra’s dream related to changes in her life - and accordingly to “losing” parts of herself? Is she dealing with issues now that involve cleansing or letting go of things that no longer are useful to her? Conversely, is she being forced to let go of parts of her life that really are useful to her, but over which she has no control? Is the dream a metaphor for an increasing sense of powerlessness? Does it suggest a loss of beauty or physical attractiveness? Should Sandra simply visit a dentist?
It is worthwhile noting the very important role which context plays in all dream interpretation. Of the three dreams presented above, the one we can feel most confident interpreting is the first, because we have been given some concrete background to the situation which most likely is its source - the mother’s extensive dental work. In dream #2, if Karen had prefaced her report by commenting that two weeks ago - the same time her dreams began - she started interviewing for a new position with a company - we would be more inclined to link her dream to concerns of appearance, especially since she reports no history of the dreams. The third dream is significant symbolically for the deliberateness of the removal of the teeth, and for the fact that the dreamer does not know where the removed teeth are going. But without more background - which the dreamer alone can supply - we can only suggest the theme of the dream, and not its specific context.