Teeth and Dentistry Dreams

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Dreams of losing teeth or having teeth extracted can signify many things, including fears of helplessness or aging or of some sort of loss in one’s life.

Teeth and Dentistry Dreams


Dreams about teeth are more frequently experienced by women than men. Loosing a tooth is said to represent the process of giving birth—in which a small object is removed from the body—resulting in pain and bleeding. A widespread theme in world folklore is that for every child a woman bears she will loose a tooth. Sigmund Freud presented a more masculine interpretation, suggesting that the pulling of a tooth is symbolic of adolescent masturbation.

In some cultures, the loss of a tooth in a dream is sometimes interpreted to represent the unconscious desire of the dreamer for the death of a relative (e.g., the loss of the central teeth represents the desired death of a parent and the teeth further back in the mouth correspond to more distant relatives). An ancient Egyptian interpretation, dating from around 2000 B.C.E., suggests that the loss of a tooth means that the dreamer will die as a direct result of the actions of his or her relatives. Other theories propose that dreams of tooth loss represent the desire to become toothless—a kind of helplessness that causes the dreamer to require care. They may also indicate the desire of the dreamer to no longer have sex as an issue in his or her life. Alternatively these dreams may signify a fear of aging, which relates to the fact that we often loose our teeth as we age.

Research was conducted regarding people who experienced chronic teeth dreams and the personality traits they exhibit as compared to the individuals who frequently had dreams of flight. While the “flyers” were calm, confident, and generally optimistic people, those who dreamed about teeth were more anxious, apt to bouts of self-criticism, and more likely to feel helpless in situations with which they were unfamiliar. The reason for these personality differences is unknown and open to speculation.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.