I love irony. One of my readers consistently dreams of her teeth falling out and asked me what it means. I've never dreamt about tooth loss, but I experienced it and wrote about the reality of tooth loss. While researching the question, I discovered Aisling Ireland's column, which is the most comprehensive explanation I found. So, without further adieu, and Aisling's permission, I am reprinting the following article. Dream on…
Teeth Falling Out Dreams by Aisling Ireland, BellaOnline's Dream Editor
Remember when you were a child and a loose tooth was an exciting event? Remember how you pulled at it, gradually loosening it up until it finally fell from your gums, into your hands and you slipped it under your pillow with excitement knowing the tooth fairy was well on her way? Why isn't that same excitement present in tooth loss dreams? One reason is because we are adults now. Whereas childhood tooth loss meant transitioning from a child to a grown-up, adult tooth loss means transitioning from a grown-up to growing old. Growing old puts us face to face with death and few people find much excitement in that transition.
Of all the dreams I get requests to interpret, tooth loss dreams are in the top ten. Actually, they are not so much requests for interpretation as pleas for reassurance. There is something very disturbing about these dreams--not only in the content but in the emotion that comes along with them. And it is in the emotional content of the dream that we find the biggest clue to its translation.
The next time you dream about losing teeth, before trying to figure out what it means, ask yourself how the dream made you feel. Oftentimes, it is not the dream of the teeth falling out that creates the disturbance to the psyche but the feelings that accompany the dream. There is often a feeling of helplessness, of powerlessness--the teeth are coming out and there is nothing the dreamer can do to stop the process. Sometimes teeth fall out, sometimes they are simply missing, sometimes they crumble away. Whichever way they make their exit, the dreamer is left with not only a gap in her smile, but a hole in her heart when she awakens.
If feelings of loss of control, helplessness or powerlessness accompany your tooth loss dream, the dream is typically acting as a mirror of a situation in waking life. Dreams of tooth loss coupled with anxiety reflect a fear of change, fear of transition. Ask yourself if there is some transition that you are fearful of making.
Sometimes tooth loss dreams point to a fear of failure or embarrassment. In waking life, when people lose teeth, they often cover their mouths when talking or smiling. Is there something you want to do but are afraid of undertaking because you fear you'll look foolish if you fail? Or is there something going on in your waking life that you feel you must hide or 'cover up'?
Losing teeth in dreams can also point to insecurity about finances. In physical waking life, teeth are what we use to take in sustenance, to keep our bodies fit and nourished, and they are often lost when malnutrition is present. In order to take in nourishment we must be able to 'support' ourselves. Are you worried that you will lose the ability to take care of yourself or are you already not taking care of your needs? Nourishing ourselves comes in many forms, not just our bodily needs--we must nourish our minds, spirits, and hearts as well as our bodies. Is there any aspect of your life that feels like an empty hole?
Tooth loss dreams may also symbolize a fear of abandonment, of being left behind with no recourse. Look at your relationships and see if any of them are leaving you with feelings of insecurity. Another interesting way of translating tooth loss dreams may be a fear of giving away too much information, a spilling of secrets, or a fear of being lied to.
While most of these translations sound pretty grim, keep in mind that these are all symbols of how you are feeling. They are not prophecies of doom, or omens that all of the fears you're carrying around are on the verge of coming to pass. These dreams, like all others, are report cards from the psyche, clues to how our consciousness and unconsciousness is handling the events of our waking life. Understanding their nightly messages help us more successfully navigate our daily activities--even the ones that scare us or fill us with feelings of dread.
Aisling Ireland is an ordained Spiritual Counselor providing dream interpretation and tarot readings. To make an appointment, email her at dreams@bellaonline or get more information at www.sang-realta.com