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Lost Teeth May Signal Hole in Friendship


Dear Cynthia: My friend and I have the same dream. Not often . . . but it is very disturbing. We dream that our teeth fall out! There is no pain, but our teeth suddenly become loose and then fall out into our hands. This is a real nightmare. Can you help us understand the symbolic nature of this dream?


Simi Valley

Dear Elaine: This is a topic I have covered before, but I get so many letters of a similar nature that it is worth repeating. Believe it or not, teeth falling out is one of the most common dream themes. There are many associated meanings.

The first and most obvious one is that there is a dental problem, such as decay, gum disease or grinding your teeth at night. Once this is ruled out, the symbolic meanings can include the following: Teeth are associated with youth and with a pleasing appearance. So there could be some anxiety about aging. In the animal kingdom, any animal that loses its teeth can no longer procure food or eat. So losing one's teeth can be symbolic of survival issues, either fear of death or economic survival, as in not having the tools necessary to be competitive in the work place. Teeth are the hardest material in the human body; the fear is that if they could fall out, we are indeed vulnerable.

Teeth are also required for clear communication, and the phrase "I can't sink my teeth into something" comes to mind. Therefore, this dream may occur when you don't have all the information you need to understand something or to communicate about it.

It is interesting that both you and your friend have this dream. Could it be that there is a breakdown in communication between the two of you when you have the dream, or that you share a fear of losing your looks or survival skills?

At any rate, I suggest a visit to the dentist if it has been awhile and then a good heart-to-heart conversation with your friend. Beginning with an open heart, ask if there is anything that she hasn't communicated to you that is bothering her; then reverse the process and share anything you have kept inside.


Cynthia Richmond is the author of "Dream Power: How to Use Your Night Dreams to Change Your Life" (Simon & Schuster, 2000). Fax your dreams to Cynthia Richmond at (818) 783-3267 or e-mail them to Please include your hometown and a daytime phone number. In Your Dreams appears every Tuesday and should be read for entertainment purposes only.

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