Dream symbols: Teeth and what they mean

Biblical symbolism of teeth in dreams, including teeth falling out, wobbly teeth, broken teeth, brushing teeth, visiting the dentist, wisdom teeth – and what that means in practice – with real dream examples.

Have you ever wondered what teeth mean as a dream symbol?

In this article we will take inspiration from the bible to investigate the spiritual meaning of teeth in dreams, and what that means for us in practical terms.

We will explore its symbolic meaning in positive and negative contexts, with some real dream examples too!

I approach dream interpretation from a biblical perspective. My belief is that our dreams can come from God, and understanding them is best understood within the context of an ongoing relationship with Him.

Firstly, if you have just come across this post and are new to dream interpretation, it is worth mentioning that dreams are symbolic in nature. You might find it helpful to read Understand your dreams: A bible-based introduction to dream language and my 3-step dream interpretation method to give you a foundation.

Secondly, remember that dreams are personal, so the meanings that I suggest may not apply to your specific dream. But please feel free to use my ideas as a springboard to thinking and praying about dreams yourself. Don’t take my ideas as gospel, but rather let them help you start to think metaphorically.

Pictures of man at the dentist, boy with gap in teeth, man with tooth ache, lady brushng teeth

Introducing teeth in dreams

Have you ever dreamed about teeth? Maybe your teeth were falling out, you needed a filling, you were brushing your teeth, or took a visit to the dentist?

Or maybe you saw an animal with fearsome teeth?

Dreams about teeth are very common. Most people can remember having teeth-related dreams of some sort – and there are numerous potential scenarios.

As with any dream symbol, teeth potentially have both positive and negative meanings. The context, feeling and atmosphere of a dream will give us clues to help us determine whether to interpret them in a positive or negative way. Plus, the action relating to the teeth is very important.

So, let’s unpack what teeth could mean in our dreams!

Symbolism of teeth in the bible

The bible is a great resource for dream interpretation as it contains so much symbolic language.

Teeth symbolising appearance

Positive mentions of teeth in the bible generally relate to appearance and attractiveness. For example, this could be white teeth, straight teeth, or having a set of healthy teeth without any gaps.

Here are a couple of examples:

Teeth could be used in a similar way in dreams today, with the physical appearance metaphorically reflecting our self-image in some way. For example, teeth with a bad appearance could represent a poor self-image.

The context of the whole dream (and the action/feeling surrounding it) is vital to determine whether this is the meaning.

See also my article on the colour white, for more insight into what white teeth could symbolise.

Picture of lady smiling teeth in mirror, with text: Meaning of teeth in dreams, self-image

Teeth symbolising aggression

In a negative context, the bible uses teeth to represent aggressive nature – such as enemy armies attacking or the acts of evil people.

This could be through the imagery of fierce animals with teeth, people gnashing their teeth in an aggressive way, or the metaphor of eating/devouring one another:

  • Joel 1:6, NIV A nation has invaded my land, a mighty army without number; it has the teeth of a lion, the fangs of a lioness.
  • Psalm 14:4, NIV Do all these evildoers know nothing? They devour my people as though eating bread.

Daniel’s dream of four beasts in Daniel 7 is a great example of this. Each beast represented an empire that would rise up and destroy the previous one. The fourth beast was the Roman empire, and the iron teeth reflected the power and strength of that empire to devour everything in its path.

  • Daniel 7:7, NIV “…there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth…”

In our dreams today, this kind of imagery is more likely to manifest at a personal level rather than a national threat! For example, an animal attacking with fierce teeth could indicate some kind of threat or fear (perceived threat).

Teeth symbolising verbal attack

The bible also uses teeth to represent harsh words, such as slander, verbal attack, threats, arguments, or gossip. This is because teeth are in the mouth – and anything connected to the mouth can relate metaphorically to speech or words.

It is uncommon to dream of people biting one another (although in dreams anything is possible!!). Rather, this imagery usually appears in the form of an animal (like the lions in Psalm 57 above) whose sharp teeth are the main feature in the dream. An animal can represent a person.

In each case, as always, the context of the dream would determine whether this is the intended meaning.

Here are a few animals with sharp teeth that could represent verbal attack in a dream:

  • Alligators (most common meaning is verbal attack/criticism, etc.)
  • Sharks
  • Lions (if the sharp teeth are the thing that stands out in the dream)
  • Dogs (again, this would be if the sharp teeth stand out as being threatening. A dog commonly represents a friend in a dream, so attack from a dog with sharp teeth could be a verbal attack from a friend).

These days, be mindful that verbal attack can come from social media and messaging – as well as through things physically spoken.

Real dream examples

My friend dreamed some brown growling animals with bared teeth were trying to get in her front door (but didn’t manage it).In the future there would be some kind of threat coming from some people but it wouldn’t succeed. This did happen.Front is the future. Brown is human thinking (rather than God’s). The bared teeth indicated an aggressive threat.
I dreamed an alligator suddenly attacked me while crossing a bridge. I just escaped.This was warning me of sudden unexpected criticism coming during a time of change – but I would be OK. This did happen.Alligators have big teeth and usually represent verbal attack. A bridge can be transition or change.
I dreamed a shark came at me with its mouth open, but it shot past me and I realised it was attacking something else.Someone was being very critical of me at the time, and this showed me I was not the real issue. This helped me respond appropriately.The shark’s teeth were the main feature, so this represented verbal attack in the form of criticism.
Picture of alligator teeth with text, meaning of teeth in dreams:verbal attack

Teeth symbolising understanding

In my experience of dreams, dreaming about our own teeth is nearly always about an aspect of our understanding. I have been through 15 years’ worth of my own dreams about teeth – and they were all about my understanding and ability to mentally process things.

Dreams about our own teeth are usually about our understanding and ability to process information.

We have seen above how teeth can represent what comes out of our mouth (verbal attack). But this symbolism is the opposite – and relates to what we take in.

This can be best explained using the illustration of eating. The bible compares the word of God to bread or food. Food can also represent things we’ve been taught by people (both positive and negative), and eating is like taking in that information:

  • Deuteronomy 8:3, NIV …man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
  • Jeremiah 15:16, NLT When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight.

To explain this illustration further:

  • Food is like the information we receive or the ideas we are fed.
  • Chewing food is like mentally processing that information (thinking it over and deciding what to do about it).
  • Swallowing is like accepting that information, believing an idea, or coming to a conclusion.
  • Spitting out is like rejecting an idea.

Teeth are the part of the mouth that do the chewing (mental processing). We even have the expression chewing things over which means thinking about something for a period of time.

The best way to explain this is to give some examples. So here are some potential dream elements relating to teeth and understanding. These meanings are not set in stone, but rather ideas to help get you thinking metaphorically:

Bad tooth – Unhelpful idea or thought pattern.

Brush teeth – Get our thoughts in order (with God’s help), whatever that process looks like for us.

Cleaning / whitening teeth – A cleansing process relating to our understanding.

Dentist – God as the one who gives wisdom and understanding.

Dentist appointment – God intends doing some transformative work to help us think more clearly or to adjust some wrong ideas.

Filling – Could be about being filled with God’s wisdom / understanding by the Holy Spirit.

Hygienist – Similar to the dentist. Could also be angelic help or God, helping us ‘clean up’ our thinking.

Loose teeth – Uncertainty; or dodgy (wobbly) thinking.

Teeth falling out – Losing our ability to think clearly and make decisions; or realising some thinking (or an idea we had) was wrong.

Toothache – Inability to think clearly or lack of understanding causing us pain/distress. E.g., could be things going round in out head in an unhelpful way, or being unable to make a decision.

Toothbrush or toothpaste – Whatever helps us get our thinking straight (E.g., praying, reading the bible, reviewing dreams).

Tooth extraction – Removing unhealthy ideas and thought patterns.

Wisdom teeth – Relating to wisdom (i.e., heavenly understanding that enables us to make the right decision in a situation).

Hopefully you are getting the idea, and can start to think metaphorically about other scenarios relating to teeth!

Picture of lady smiling, with text, meaning of teeth in dreams: understanding

A biblical perspective on understanding

So why does God give us teeth dreams like this, and how should we respond?

The bible has much to say about wisdom and understanding. It tells us that true understanding comes from God. So, if our thinking is in line with God’s then we are in a good place. But if our thinking is out of line with God’s then it needs to be adjusted in some way to come back into a healthy place.

  • Proverbs 2:5, NASB For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Our mind is neither a good or bad thing in itself. It is where we are drawing information from and how we are processing that information that determines whether it is a positive or negative influence in our life.

If we are looking at the world around us and letting that frame our understanding, then it is easy to get confused or anxious – and lose the ability to think clearly or make decisions. In a dream, this might manifest as losing teeth, or some other negative context relating to our teeth.

When our understanding is flowing from God’s Spirit within us, then our mind is a tremendous blessing; it helps us process things, organise our thoughts, and make informed decisions. This would be symbolised by teeth appearing in our dreams in a positive context.

The bible tells us that we must constantly allow God to renew our understanding. It is a work in progress, and a big part of that is correcting any unhelpful thinking and thought patterns we have adopted or inherited.

  • Romans 12:3, NASB And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Responding to teeth dreams

Dreams about teeth can help us identify when we have wrong understanding or are failing to process things clearly. The point of these dreams is not to condemn us – but rather alert us so we can take ownership of the situation and do something about it. It is actually very helpful to know when our understanding or decision making is off.

God always brings hope for change, so if he highlights a problem with our thinking through a dream about teeth, it means that he wants to help us change it.

It can be distressing when we don’t understand things – particularly when we have decisions to make. It can cause anxiety. Dreams like losing teeth or toothache can be like an alert, drawing us back to God’s presence so he can speak to us and restore peace.

Our best response to this type of dream would be to seek God and ask him to help. We might have to adjust our lifestyle and priorities to do this. For example, we may need to:

  • Take some time out to pray.
  • Ask someone for help/advice.
  • Put in place some spiritual disciplines.
  • Say ‘no’ to some things to make time for what we feel we need to do.

For me, getting my thinking straight usually means revisiting my dream journals and praying through them, or taking time to rest in God’s presence. For you it might mean something else.

It is reassuring to know that God is on our side and committed to helping us change and think clearly – and dreams about teeth tell us that he is doing just that.

Picture of lady in yellow field with text: romans 8:6 The mind set on the spirit is life and peace

Dream symbols about understanding

There are some other dream symbols that can relate to thinking and understanding. If these appear in our dream, they can help identify the meaning of the teeth aspect – by acting as confirmation:

Head – usually relates to our thinking.

Hair – is on our head, so usually relates to our thinking.

The colour yellow – is often about our mind and understanding.

The colour grey – can indicate confusion or lack of clarity in our thinking.

Snakes – are usually indicative of a lie or wrong understanding.

Real dream examples

I dreamed my friend told me I might like to whiten my teeth when speaking.This was advising me to wait and seek God (clean up my thinking) in an area before talking to other people. Whitening can be cleaning up/getting right with God. This dream proved to be good advice!
I dreamed I pulled off a loose bit of metal from my teeth, which led to a cover coming off and all my teeth were loose and wobbly underneath.God would reveal wrong thinking in an area, which would uncover lots of other wrong/dodgy thinking linked to it.This did happen, and I had to do lots of repenting (changing thinking).
My top left front tooth was wobbly and it led to all my left hand teeth falling out in a chain reaction.In the future, God would correct my thinking in an area, which would lead to re-thinking lots of other ideas (same as dream above).Left and front are both about future/destiny.
I dreamed I was told that a man had bits of bread between his teeth which I thought sounded unpleasant.This represented someone I knew who had inherited some unhelpful ideas – and gave insight into why they were behaving in a certain way..Bread can be the word of God (positive) or things we’ve been taught (in this case negative).
I dreamed it was early morning and I needed to brush my teeth.This was a call to go though my dream journals and spend time with God.God uses dreams to help my understanding (like brushing my teeth).
I dreamed I was told to visit Sophia’s dentist because I needed some fillings.This was advising me I needed to seek God’s wisdom from the Holy Spirit.Sophia means wisdom. Filling suggests being filled by the Holy Spirit.
I dreamed I was given some pills to take and must swallow them whole, not chew them,God was showing me I would have to trust Him on some things that I wouldn’t understand at the time. This did happen.This was about swallowing (accepting) what God said without chewing (understanding).
I dreamed I had a tooth missing on the left side and needed to visit my dentist tomorrow.Next year God would show me something about my destiny I didn’t yet understand (i.e., fill in a gap in my thinking).Tomorrow is often the following year. Left is future/destiny.
Picture of man smiling, with text: James 1:5 | If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.


Dreaming of teeth usually relates to some aspect of our understanding – and our ability to think clearly and make good decisions. Often these dreams indicate that we are struggling in some way with this. They can prompt us to seek God for wisdom and understanding – plus make any necessary lifestyle changes.

Dreams about the condition/appearance of our teeth can also be about our self-image, or how we think other people see us.

Teeth in a negative/frightening setting (such as an animal with huge teeth) could be about verbal attack.

Here are a few closing thoughts:

  • Teeth in a dream could represent any number of things. The above ideas should give you a good starting point. 
  • I believe that only God can tell us what they mean in a specific dream, so you could try asking Him!
  • Consider the atmosphere and context of the dream to see whether the teeth (and related action) are being used in a positive or negative sense.
  • In addition to the meanings that I have shared, remember that they could mean something personal or culturally significant to you, that isn’t mentioned here.

If you have just realised that God is speaking to you about your understanding and ability to think clearly, make sure to talk to him about it.

And finally… have fun exploring the teeth-related symbols in your dreams! If this article has helped you with a dream, please leave a comment below!

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Dream interpretations

The purpose of this blog is to provide biblical foundations for interpreting dreams and encourage others to make their own dream journey. I am primarily a writer and bible teacher – who loves dreams, and I hope you will be inspired to learn to interpret your own dreams.

It is not currently my aim to routinely engage in dream interpretations or provide training, except through writing blog posts. You can read my most up to date position on interpreting dreams here: Requests for dream interpretations.

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Picture of jenny Needham, Heaven's Dream Messages, with text : Thank you

Content Disclaimer

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Jennifer Needham disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.

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Picture of lady smiling with teeth, and text: Dream symbols, teeth and what they mean

2 thoughts on “Dream symbols: Teeth and what they mean

  1. Thank you so Much Jenny..Your insights have continually been helpful in understanding my dreams from God. I pray the Holy Spirit continues to use greatly 🙏
    Stay blessed.
    With love from Zambia🇿🇲


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