Most people like to fall asleep and dream about puppies, love interests, and puppy love interests. Unfortunately, we often end up in nightmare scenarios with 10-feet-tall clowns juggling our internal organs. It’s just the way the cookie crumbles. If you’re lucky enough to remember when you wake up, the first question that comes to mind is usually, “What the heck was that all about?”
Dreams are mysterious, but we do have somewhat of an idea about why they happen and what they might mean. Psychology Today points out that different types of dreams — recurring, nightmare, lucid, and so on are all often influenced by our waking lives. Even if we aren’t consciously aware they are there, stressors play a big part, as does stimuli.
The science behind dreaming of losing teeth
A study published in Frontiers of Psychology aimed at figuring out why so many people dream about their teeth falling out, in particular. The hypothesis was that these dreams are triggered by teeth grinding, a common issue during sleep that may influence the content of dreams, which may also be related to stress from waking life. The study found that while teeth-related dreams weren’t directly correlated to teeth grinding, they did indicate dental distress. In other words, those dreams might be a literal message to take better care of our teeth, or to eliminate stress-related tension in the jaw.
Further backing the idea that these dreams are at least partially related to physical sensation, the study found a high correlation between dreams of suffocating and difficulty breathing during waking hours.
The not-so-science behind dreaming of losing teeth
All this of course, is what science says. But what about metaphorical dream interpretation? For those that believe teeth falling out is a message from the dreamworld, Healthline says common interpretations are related to loss of a possession or a loved one, major changes in one’s life, depression, jealousy and themes of religion. Interestingly, these all could translate to stress, which would then manifest physically in your jaw, one of the most common areas where tension accumulates in our bodies, according to Psychology Today.
So, if you’re dreaming of losing your chompers, you’re probably stressed and your body is telling you to chill out and relax your jaw. Take a deep breath, and just in case, don’t forget to floss.
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