For as long as I can remember I’ve been having bad dreams about my teeth. These dreams increased in frequency when I was in college and I currently dream (or I remember that I’ve had a dream) about my teeth about once a week.
In some dreams they are knocked out. I often get punched in the mouth. When my head snaps back from the blow, I open my mouth and anywhere from just one to all 28 of my teeth fall out. But there’s never any blood.
I also trip a lot. At least once there were stairs and I fell face first onto the iron handrail. Another time I was stepping onto a curb and suddenly my teeth were littering the sidewalk.
Eating in my dreams is hazardous. Pretty much whenever I’m eating in a dream, my teeth come out. Biting into apples is the most common. My four front teeth just stick right into the fruit when I pull it away from my mouth. But they’ve also fallen out into spaghetti and even into a smoothie.
Occasionally I dream that I’m at the dentist or orthodontist for a cleaning or to have braces put on or taken off. Inevitably my teeth are yanked out.
Some years back I consulted various dream dictionaries out of sheer curiosity: teeth falling out in a dream may symbolize regret or embarrassment or it could reveal anger or anxiety or insecurity. None of these suggestions rings true for me.
Earlier this year, after a routine trip to the dentist, my jaw started popping whenever I opened my mouth and I was diagnosed with TMJ. I guess for as long as I’ve been dreaming about my teeth, I’ve also been grinding them and that chronic stress on my jaw joint has finally taken its toll. Apparently, even my seemingly unrelated lower back and sciatic nerve issues actually are connected to my teeth because TMJ has wrecked havoc on my overall posture.
So now I’m fitting in appointments all over the city: doctor, dentist, specialist, chiropractor, physical therapist. Since I spend a lot of time in waiting rooms I bring along my own reading material and I worked my way through about 400 pages worth of journal articles about teenagers and their information seeking behaviors. Yay multitasking!
I’ve also been reading a book which I highly recommend for anyone with TMJ issues. I came across this title by accident when I was browsing at a bookstore. For all my obsession with books, it never occurred to me to look for a book on TMJ. Ooops. Good job, library student.
The other book I’ve paged through numerous times this month is Gaga.
I’m going to The Monster Ball tomorrow night. Ironically (or fittingly?), my favorite Lady Gaga song is… “Teeth.”