As far as dreams go, dreaming of teeth falling out is easily one of the freakiest. Maybe it's one tooth, maybe it's a whole row -- either way, it's a very off-putting sensation. You wake up and quickly run your tongue over your gums to make sure that your teeth, in fact, are still intact.
While unsettling, this imagery may offer valuable insight towards one's habits, limitations and personality. According to Jungian psychotherapist Richard Nicoletti, dreams about teeth falling out can indicate many things.
Nicoletti suggests that the type of teeth falling out is also imperative to dream interpretation. Is it gold or silver? The more valuable the tooth, the more troublesome the problem. A "gold tooth falling out might be some reflection that one's life path was being detoured — a reflection of one not fulfilling one's destiny, in the sense that a person is meant to fulfill one's capability," he said.
Nicoletti offered other examples: "When the teeth fall out, one's survival is challenged, one's ability to eat, so it could mean disease. If it's a person other than the dreamer whose teeth are falling out, the dreamer may have an issue with the person, who may be a superior at work, for example. The dream may indicate that the fear of the person in waking life is overstated."
He suggests digging into recent and troubling experiences that may be influencing this imagery. Nicoletti advises the dreamer to "live freely" and reflectively.
Scroll through to see other dream meanings:
Common dreams and their meanings
Common dreams and their meanings
1. You're falling from the sky
We've all had this dream, where you wake up flinching in your bed. The feeling is all too realistic.
Falling means you're nervous something is going to spiral out of control. Psychologist William Braun explains this feeling of free-falling is "associated with feeling out of control or overwhelmed. They may also relate to feeling unsupported and insecure".
2. You're unprepared for a test
It's such a horrible feeling. It's right before a huge exam, and you show up, and your mind goes blank. Or there's a test you just had no idea about. It's life or death.
It's gross, and if you're unlucky enough to remember your dream, your first instinct is to touch your mouth and make sure your teeth are still intact.
Like many other dreams, teeth flying out is yet another symbol of anxiety. In times of big changes and transition, "We might think of this as being concern about one's potency, competence, strength, power, ability to 'take a bite out' of the world," said Braun.
4. You're being chased
It's more than a dream, it's a nightmare.
While being chased is a pretty popular dream, it's meaning varies on the context.
In a nutshell, it means you're nervous to confront an issue, and thus you keep avoiding it. If a monster is chasing you, it be an indication that you're avoiding a big problem -- like an addiction or a chasm in your relationship.
Even if you don't recognize the person who is chasing you, the dream has implications. "Keep in mind, people in dreams can be substitutions for other people or even substitutions for aspects of ourselves," Braun said.
5. You're naked in public
Being naked in front of a crowd, when everyone else is dressed, relays a sense of vulnerability and innocence. "These dreams are often accompanied by feelings of embarrassment and shame," Braun said. Furthermore, it could mean "this person wants to be seen, acknowledged, admired."
6. You need to scream out, or you can't move
It's really scary when you need to use your voice to ask for help, or something is coming after you but you are immobilized.
However, Braun explained that it "may not just be a dream, but may be the result of sleep paralysis." During REM sleep, you're essentially paralyzed as to not move and hurt yourself when we dream. So, according to Braun, if you wake up from sleep paralysis, it's usually before the REM cycle. It's merely you experiencing this as a dream state.