In an ideal world, everyone would be dreaming about fantastical scenes and interactions that allow us to wake up with a smile on our faces. That, however, isn’t the reality for many dreamers. Dreams can take a less-than-ideal turn, leaving us scratching our heads from the confusing metaphors and bizarre situations. Dream themes can range from falling, flying, or even returning back to your high school hallways (yikes). One particularly odd dream scenario that many experience is dreaming that your teeth are falling out.
Psychology Today says that dreaming about losing your chompers can be associated with actual dental distress (e.g. teeth grinding), but there’s no shortage of popular psychology resources informing us that general stress and anxiety can seep into our subconscious and affect our dreams. The loss of teeth can symbolize a major life change or rebirth (like when kids lose their baby teeth). It can also be related to the psychological distress of losing something, whether it’s control over our lives or actually something physical.
In a Bustle article, professional counsellor Robert Betancourt says that during the REM sleep stage, “the brain shifts into a more relaxed, less touchy mode and uses symbolic language and imagery to address challenges and issues in one’s waking life.” Stress-filled dreams, therefore, can be a reflection of your emotional state, and in extreme cases, your mental health.
The overwhelming amount of information available makes it easy to interpret and reinterpret our dreams to determine their connection to our lives. From growing pains to the fear of growing older, losing your teeth can symbolize the stress and anxiety we’ve inadvertently weaved into our lives. Is it possible to make the simple comparison that losing our teeth is the subconscious equivalent to losing our hair when we’re stressed in our waking life? It’s hard to tell, but acknowledging their strangeness and metaphorical comparison to our lives can be the ultimate call-to-action. If you believe that dreams are trying to tell us something, maybe it’s time we listen.