Have you ever had a dream about your teeth falling out? Breaking? Missing altogether? If so, you aren’t alone. For many of us, these types of dreams are just as common as the classic “no pants in public” nightmare.

But why do we dream about teeth so often? People have been debating whether there’s any significance to these dreams for a long time.

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Dreams about teeth have different meanings for different cultures at different times. And we’d like to channel Dana Scully by reminding you that your dreams could also just be a random collection of memories or fantasies – they might not mean anything at all.

While symbolic interpretations vary widely, there are sometimes more straightforward reasons why our unconscious minds might be preoccupied with our teeth. We brush our teeth before we go to sleep and our teeth can be one of the most visible signs of our health, so maybe it's natural that we sometimes find ourselves unconsciously dwelling on them.

Here are some of the most common types of dreams about teeth, plus a little speculation about what might be fuelling them.

Dreams where teeth fall out

Losing teeth in a dream can be distressing, but it’s common! Some have theorised that it might not be your teeth that you're worried about, interpreting these dreams as meaning you feel unsupported in some way. For other interpreters, losing teeth represents a problem with communication or understanding.

Dreams about broken teeth

If your teeth are chipped or otherwise damaged in a dream, some people think this could be a general worry about your health and mortality.

Your oral health is closely linked to your overall wellbeing, so this mental association makes sense to us!

Dreams where teeth crumble

If your teeth are rotting or crumbling in your dream, some people have theorised that this is related to worries about ageing or sickness.

Dreams where teeth are pulled

While some theorise that teeth pulling might represent concern about someone wanting to take something from you. But there could be simpler reasons – if you feel any fear or anxiety about visiting the dentist or needing uncomfortable treatments, this might manifest as an unpleasant dream.

Enough speculation – here’s what we do know!

While you might not be able to control what happens to your teeth in your dreams, there are concrete steps you can take to keep your real teeth healthy.

Keeping up with your regular dental visits can give your dentist the chance to address any oral health problems you might be facing and lower your risk of future issues. It’s usually best to visit every six months, but this may vary according to your circumstances. Talk to your dentist to confirm how often you should visit.

Regular visits also mean a hygienist will clean your teeth, remove plaque and check for signs of issues like oral cancer. They’ll also be able to give you tips on your oral hygiene, as well as brushing or flossing techniques.

Even if you do sustain damage to your teeth, there are a lot of restorative dental treatments that can help you repair or even replace broken or damaged teeth

Lastly, good oral hygiene is just as important as visiting the dentist. Try to floss at least once a day and brush (gently, in a circular motion) twice a day, especially before bed. Look to moderate your intake of sugary or acidic foods and beverages, and drink plenty of water. Good hygiene and a healthy diet can reduce your risk of issues like tooth decay and gum disease – who knows, it might even help you sleep a little easier!

Want to learn more about oral health issues and dental tips?