One of the most common anxiety dreams is losing teeth: they loosen and fall out, crumble, are extracted, or knocked out. Teeth have many functions:
- They are a first line of self-defense
- The earliest form of aggression–we bite.
- They are the gateway or barrier between the inner world and the outer.
- They are the “tools” that makes it possible to take large chunks of nourishment, and break them down into smaller sizes that can be metabolized.
With them we can “sink our teeth into something” meaning we can be deeply commit, understand, and become fully involved. Translating these characteristics into psychologically meaningful language means that when we dream of teeth falling out, we are losing some differentiation between ourselves and someone else. We may be losing our grip or hold on a big problem because we are losing our ability to break it down into smaller more manageable pieces.
Only babies and very old people have no teeth, so losing teeth may scare us because we are losing some autonomy or power that will render us dangerously dependent.
When we were young, many of us put a lost tooth under the pillow so that the tooth fairy would come and bring us money or something special. The dream may also warn us that it is dangerous to wish to regress to a magical place where we are taken care of and wishes will be granted without our own hard work.
Teeth also give us our beautiful smiles which draw others toward us. Losing teeth may render us unappealing, and we may fear that something is happening that will cause others to be repelled by us.
When we have a tooth loss dream, the wise dream maker is giving us an experience of anxiety because we need to pay attention to something that is going on that has to do with loss of autonomy, independence, power, and ability to accomplish things by breaking them down into manageable sizes.