Dreams and Nightmares:
“I had vivid dreams of my teeth falling out while the world was coming to an end.”

"Roar" by Mimi Stuart ©
Live the Life you Desire

Dreams and nightmares often convey messages from the unconscious through images that have both archetypal and personal meaning to the dreamer. The more emotionally powerful or repetitive your dreams become, the more urgent is the message from the unconscious. As the degree of fear experienced in your dreams intensifies, it becomes increasingly critical to figure out what your unconscious is trying to tell you. What is it that is not working in your conscious life? What are you disowning or neglecting?

Dreams are often triggered by specific events occurring the day before the dream—events that may have gone unnoticed. It’s therefore helpful to ask oneself what happened the day before the nightmare. Did I stop myself from speaking up? Why did I lose my temper at the slightest provocation?

Look at the nuances in your dream, such as the specific people in it, the location of the dream, and sequence of events. The story of the dream can be viewed as a metaphor for what is going on in your psyche, with the different characters often representing different disowned aspects of yourself.

Dreams about teeth falling out:

Dreams about one’s teeth falling out are unpleasant and distressing. It’s a great relief to wake up from such a dream and find your teeth intact. Generally such dreams have to do with not being tough enough with others, not standing your ground, not being able to grit your teeth and say “no.” Baring one’s teeth is a symbol of aggression. Using your teeth to bite into food is key to taking in the nourishment you need. Even a bold smile requires the showing of teeth that are firmly in place. When your teeth fall out, there’s a loss of the strength needed for self-preservation. You have no bite, metaphorically speaking.

If this were my dream, I would ask myself how I might be experiencing loss, frustration, and impotence, or a lack of nourishment and sustenance. Am I unwilling to stand up for myself to obtain my needs, such as needed rest, respect, or support? I would consider how I could become more self-empowered.

Much of the meaning of a dream is found in the details. So it’s important to look at the setting of the dream. Other people or familiar locations may represent disowned parts of your personality. For instance, did your teeth start falling out right after you visited a house like the one your father used to live in? This could indicate that you lose your ability to stand up for yourself with people who may play a father figure in your current relationships or with people who might intimidate you.

Nightmares of the world ending:

Dreams of a natural catastrophe or the world ending should not be ignored. They often indicate that dramatic changes are occurring and that transformation of your psyche is necessary. When our way of being in the world is no longer working, our unconscious feels as though the world is ending. The dream uses images to symbolize the demise of the primary psychological structure. The old psychological framework isn’t working and is about to fall apart.

The more fear or terror you experience during the dream, the less control and peace of mind you have over the changes coming. When changes are thrust into our lives without our mindful awareness of what is going on, they can create illness, mayhem, or breakdown.

Yet, when we take notice of powerful dreams and listen to what our psyche needs, transitions in our lives will occur with less painful upheaval. Where there is an ending, there is also an opportunity to generate a new “world” by creating a more effective way of being in the world.

If this were my dream, I would ask myself how I could develop a more desirable way of relating to myself and others that would be more fulfilling to my soul. By figuring out what fundamental changes you need to make, you can foster positive growth with less turbulence and struggle. By taking the difficult steps of changing your patterned behavior, you can encourage the metamorphosis to occur with less pain and suffering.

Your dreams are telling you something. By paying attention to them you can turn peril into possibility.

by Alison Poulsen, PhD

Read “Inner Struggle: ‘I’m tired of giving in.’”

Read “Re-Visioning Psychology: ‘With all my psychological baggage, I feel like damaged goods.’”

2 thoughts on “Dreams and Nightmares:
“I had vivid dreams of my teeth falling out while the world was coming to an end.”

  1. Shoppingaholic

    Hi Alison,
    Quite often, I dream about spaceships appearing sky. It feels that they will catch and take those away who they are able to see. I meant if we hide inside the house, they won’t see us and they won’t take us. But if someone is his terrace then they will kill them or some thing. Most of the times I find myself in my parents house where we used to have open terrace in front of our bedrooms. I see that my youngest sister is running on the terrace and my father runs after her to say and hide from those space ships… sometimes they are able to take my sister and father away and sometimes they manage to hide themselves. Our house has changed a lot and it is different, new condition at the moment. but i still see my old house where i spent my childhood.

    Recently I have started seeing water, flood and a baby in my dreams. I am scared that flood will take the baby away so i am trying to hide him.

    First dream is something which I have been seeing for last 8-10 years. second dream is something which has started occurring for last two months.

    What do you think?

    1. admin Post author

      Thank you for submitting your dreams.

      Regarding your first dream, it seems as though there is a powerful, alien threat that is external from you. The safest place for you is to hide in a psychological framework similar to the one you needed to survive while growing up (in a house similar to where you spent your childhood.) It’s interesting that the threat is greatest if you leave the house, even just go out on the terrace (in other words if you simply try to expand yourself by stepping out of the personality structure you grew up with, you feel there is danger.)

      So, I would ask you if you have an idea of what the spaceship or aliens symbolize? What is it that becomes very threatening toward you if you grow or change? In fact it’s so threatening that you risk death metaphorically (in the dream). If this is a repetitive dream, I would pay attention to the sequence of events just prior to the nights where you have this dream.

      Also, I wonder about your sister and your father. What do they symbolize to you? It sounds as though there is a part of you that is like your youngest sister who wants to “run on the terrace,” that is, to be free from being confined by this psychological hiding place, and there is also a part of you that is like your father and is stopping that freedom seeker from being endangered, and instead forces her to hide.

      The second dream is very interesting as well. Water often represents emotions. The danger of being flooded sounds as though you feel you risk being overwhelmed by emotions, that you won’t be able to handle so much emotional depth. The fact that you are holding a baby sounds to me as though you are taking care of your inner vulnerability and innocence, but fear that you will not be able to keep that vulnerability safe from the flood of emotions.

      The fact that you are paying attention to your dreams can be very helpful in itself. If these were my dreams, I would ask myself what that alien ship really symbolizes and how you could avoid its “danger” without staying in the house all the time. (This is a metaphor of course.) I would also ask myself how to avoid being flooded and how to protect the baby. In real life, this translates to the following questions: How can I avoid becoming overwhelmed with emotion? How can I turn up my toughness, my impersonal energy, and thicken my skin? How can I protect my vulnerability from hostile people in the real world? Can I avoid aggressive people, amp up my sense of humor, or let things role off my back, for instance.

      Please let me know how these ideas fit. Good luck.

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