A dream that your teeth are falling out is a very common dream, which has been interpreted in many different ways.
Some people say that if you dream that your teeth are falling out, you are going through a period of change in your life, are you are worried that you won’t be able to handle your new responsibilities. This is because the dream is a reminder of the time in your life when you were losing your baby teeth/milk teeth, and therefore moving closer to adulthood. A dream that you are losing your teeth can indicate that you are experiencing some type of loss, but it is also a sign that there is hope for the future – your new, adult teeth are growing in.
Another interpretation is that when you dream that your teeth are falling out, your unconscious mind is telling you that you have compromised yourself and given up something that is valuable to you. In waking life, unless we have dental problems, we don’t think about our teeth very much, but life would be very difficult without them.
This dream can also be a sign that you have a poor self-image, or a sign that you are afraid of growing old.
Freud said that a dream about teeth falling out could reflect an unconscious fear of castration. However, women seem to dream about losing teeth as often as men do.
The Evolutionary Theory of Dreams says that the dreams we have today were designed to help our earliest ancestors to survive in the Pleistocene era. Therefore, our dreams are similar to the dreams of these ancestors. This is why, for example, we have many more dreams about being attacked and chased than about typing, writing or using a calculator, although in our modern, waking lives most of us probably spend much more time typing, writing and calculating than fighting people or running away from frightening creatures.
Looking at our dreams in this way, it makes sense that dreams about teeth falling out are so common.
Until very recently, having your teeth fall out was a part of everyday life. Modern dental care, with antibiotics to combat infections, is relatively new. A couple of hundred years ago, if you had a toothache, you took a drug like cocaine or morphine to dull the pain. Eventually, the tooth fell out or you pulled it, or the infection spread elsewhere and you became ill. You could die if, for example, the infection spread to your heart.
In prehistoric times, losing your teeth would have been a sign that you were truly in danger. It could have meant that you were about to become ill and die. This could be because you had an infection that was going to spread and eventually kill you. It could also be because you had become unable to nourish yourself, and would eventually die of malnutrition, particularly in an environment where just obtaining food is hard work in the first place. Remember, there were no false teeth and no supermarkets.
Therefore, the loss of teeth would have been something that concerned our ancestors very much. They might have noticed that when the people around them began having toothaches and their teeth started falling out, they often died soon after.
This would explain why today we frequently dream that our teeth are falling out, even though, with modern dental care, we are much less likely to lose our teeth in our waking lives.