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 dreams are just as common as the classic “no pants in public” nightmare.

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

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 have you worried; they think this dream could indicate that you feel unsupported in some way. In other interpretations, 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 think this is related to worries about ageing or sickness.

Dreams where teeth are pulled

People have theorised 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 treatment, 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.

Protecting your teeth 

In real life, you're much likelier to damage or lose your teeth because of an injury or advanced gum diseaseMouthguards are one way to lower your risk of a traumatic dental injury. And there are steps you can take to try and avoid a dental emergency.

Fixing dental damage

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 damaged teeth

Regular check-ups and proper hygiene

Keeping up with your regular dental visits can give your dentist a chance to check for any problems and lower your risk of future issues. It’s usually best to visit every six months, but this frequency depends on your circumstances. Talk to your dentist to confirm how often you should visit.

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

Good at-home 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.

Proper 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!

If you'd like to talk to a dental professional, find a Bupa Dental clinic near you.

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