“Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.” Sigmund Freud who said the above quote is known as the Father of Psychoanalysis. He introduced the idea of ‘Dream analysis’ in his famous book called “The Interpretation of Dreams” written as early as 1899. Freud, the pioneer of talk therapy through free association, divided human consciousness into three parts: the conscious, preconscious, and unconscious. The conscious is our absolute waking state, where we are completely aware of them now. It consists of all thoughts, feelings, memories, behavior, etc., that we are aware of in the here and now. The preconscious consists of anything that can be brought into the conscious mind. Preconscious minds hold the thoughts, feelings, and memories that can be readily brought about in complete awareness once triggered.
Among all these, the unconscious mind is the most fascinating and interesting of all that contains all our repressed memories, thoughts, feelings, wishes, needs, etc. The unconscious contains those thoughts that are repressed so effectively that they can’t be brought back in conscious awareness even after extreme effort. According to Freud, dreams reflect and show the content of our unconscious mind through symbolic means. Dreams can be extremely difficult to interpret. If at all interpreted, they should never be looked at through an isolative lens. Dream interpretation can be rendered meaningless and ambiguous if not done by an expert, like that of a Psychoanalyst. Professionals from varied backgrounds have gone ahead to say that dream interpretation may even be pseudo-science.
Some dreams like finding yourself naked in public, dying, being chased, failing an exam are extremely common. Just like that, the dream of your teeth falling out is not an uncommon dream at all, with one research study from 2008 reporting that around 49% of the participants had dreamed about the same! Read ahead to find out some common interpretations of dreaming of teeth falling out.
According to Sigmund Freud who explained the Oedipus and Electra Complex, the teeth falling out the dream is an indicator of castration anxiety, and repressed sexual feelings. On a general note, the dream about teeth falling out, as per this interpretation is a sign of feeling powerless or feeling a sense of aggression in real life. The exact interpretation may vary as per people’s storyline of the dream.
Another interpretation as per Freud of the dream of falling out teeth may mean that your mind wants to go back to being a kid who was taken care of by their parents, or guardians. Literally, seeing your teeth falling out indicates bad oral hygiene which initially was taken care of by your loved ones. Regression to an earlier stage of development are signs of wanting love, appreciation, care, warmth, and a sense of being protected.
Carl Jung, a great psychologist, and a close colleague of Freud interpreted the dream about teeth falling out as a sign of “rebirth.” This points towards the tendency of a big major shift happening in your life. It may mean that a change is underway and the tension of that change or shift, the associated anxiety is making your teeth fall out, essentially meaning, falling, or breaking apart due to tension. Similarly, another closely associated theme with rebirth is the theme of personal growth. Hence, dreaming of teeth falling out could also be an indicator of your self-growth and evolution.
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The most generic interpretation of the teeth falling out dream is that it may be an indicator of psychological distress. Even though this is a general interpretation, in all probability it is the most accurate one too. Your unconscious mind when faced with conflicts and distress may reveal it to you in a variety of ways and dreams happen to be best friends with your unconscious mind. The teeth falling out could signify personal loss, anxiety, fear, grief anything depending on the recent developments of your life. There is no need to panic. If you think that you have been stressed out lately and that you are seeing recurring dreams of teeth falling out, it might be best to reach out to a psychoanalyst or a psychologist specializing in dream analysis.
Some people are extremely self-critical when it comes to their image and how they look. Some people who are hyper-vigilant and hyper-focused on their appearance may have deep-seated insecurity and body image issues that might be reflected through dreaming of teeth falling out.
In the times of social media, and the revolution of the cosmetic industry, people have started becoming fearful of aging. Rather than seeing it as a natural progression of development that brings with itself wisdom and a sense of generativity, aging is now seen as a monster that people are constantly trying to run away from. Biologically speaking, aging involves the weakening of dental conditions and a general loss of body strength. Hence, the dream about teeth falling out may be a sign of the fear of aging.
Since teeth falling out is a common universal dream theme, researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, conducted an empirical investigation on the physiological and psychological correlates of the dreams of teeth falling out. In a study conducted with 210 undergraduates, they found that teeth dreams were correlated with dental irritation (specifically, tension sensations in the teeth, gums, or jaws upon awakening). They also did find a small but significant relationship between psychological distress and dental irritation.
In conclusion, it is important to remember that the interpretation of dreams can be a cumbersome procedure and that there are no direct answers to what your dreams might mean. It is also worthy to remember that not all dreams are psychologically important or significant. Some recurring dreams that are a cause of distress might require interpretation. Also, each little detail in the dream plays an important role in interpretation.
Little details, including the kind of colors and shapes you see in your dreams, hold important symbolic meanings. It is imperative to mention here that not all dreams show your unconscious mind to you. There is a high chance, that if you have been watching too many YouTube videos on teeth, or any related theme right before going to sleep, you will see the dream about teeth falling out. Likewise, if you have been dreading a visit to your dentist for a long time, there is a very high possibility of you dreaming of teeth falling out.
Also Read: Why Do We Dream When We Sleep?