One nightmare that has been the same over centuries--the dream your teeth are falling out. Every culture has postulated what these dreams mean. The Jewish faith says it means you worry about the loss of a loved one. Islam says it represents a loss of fortunes. Christianity infers it's trusting too much in self and not God. Sigmund Freud says it represents sexual issues. Joseph of Egypt probably had his say too. So what does it mean when you dream teeth fall out of your mouth?
A 2018 study of 210 participants gives the latest practical and scientific explanation why we dream that our teeth are falling out.
There is a strong correlation when you have these types of dreams that you are aggressively clenching your teeth while sleeping. This pressure sends signals to your unconscious brain and interrupts your regularly scheduled dream inserting the nightmare that your teeth are falling out. The same holds true for somatosensory dreams like flying, falling, or running.
If I Grind My Teeth at Night Am I Prone to These Dreams?
There is no known correlation that grinding (different than clenching) teeth cause dreams of teeth falling out--many people grind their teeth during the night. It's really limited to clenching.
These dream interpretations over the centuries are not entirely off though. We know today that when people dream of losing teeth that their clenching is usually stemmed from anxiety, depression, or stress. The more common causes of stress can be financial challenges, relationship issues, or highly stressful situations at work or at home.
If you are having two or more dreams of teeth falling out, or you wake up with sore teeth or jaws then we need to find ways to reduce the stress or anxiety in your life. This is why you have dreams of teeth falling out. Take a vacation, get a pet, or find ways to decompress.
A secondary factor of fixing the issue is wearing a night guard. This retainer is moderately thick that evenly distributes the biting forces and tension evenly, and often can erase some of your clenching muscle memory to relax your jaw.
Some patients wear the night guard nightly while others can wear it skipping days or weeks at a time.