The Teeth Nightmare

I used to have a recurring nightmare about my teeth falling out. I would hold out my hand as I helplessly spit out the teeth. I’ve heard it’s a common dream and it probably means something about something.

Over the weekend, I was able to experience this in waking life.

I spent a huge wad of money on replacing some cracked teeth with crowns. The dentist used some temporary cement and told me to go home and see if I was happy with the crowns.

Friday night, I bit into something chewy and felt a tooth come out. I felt around with my tongue and the lack of tooth felt weird. I ran to the bathroom mirror to see the effect: One missing tooth and it’s instant bag-lady.   The horror is too visceral to describe.

I googled “what if my crown falls out” and read all kinds of misinformation and alarmist warnings. I stuck the crown back in my mouth and went to bed, traumatized.

The dentist said to buy tooth cement from the pharmacy but it was worthless. For the next two days, the crown kept falling out with no warning. Then the other crown fell out. Now I had two blank spaces in my mouth: From bag-lady to crack-whore to full hillbilly.

Here is what I learned: Leave your teeth alone! Dont try to fix them if it means getting a crown. Wait until someone hits you in the mouth with a baseball bat. HANG ON TO YOUR REAL TEETH!

Now the crowns have been cemented in, “permanently.”   I don’t know if I’ll ever trust them.

Try taking a photo of your smiling face and black out a tooth, like I did above.   It may remind you to floss.

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31 Responses to The Teeth Nightmare

  1. Dave C says:

    Hey SW, you still look beautiful even with a blacked out tooth! x

  2. Debbie says:

    You are still tres, tres chic Sisterwolf!


  3. Cricket9 says:

    I have the “falling teeth” dream every now and then, and each time wake up horrified and check if I still have my teeth… After having root canals and one crown I now spend a lot of time brushing, flossing, water-picking and so on. My dentist told me that he could give me a ‘Hollywood smile” for approximately $20,000. Fat chance for this to happen, unless I win the lottery (I usually forget to play). My sympathy, SW, I hope that the crowns will be, indeed, permanent.

  4. Taylor says:

    OH MAN, I feel you I’ve dealt with this shit my whole life. I now have a ‘permanent’ crown as well… it’s been like 8/9 months since it’s fallen out after being permanently cemented, but I still don’t trust it and frequently have mini freak-outs when eating. Last year, it came out 14 times. It was an actual nightmare. And I have dreams about it all the time- once, I even had a dream that the tooth fell out and I woke up and… surprise… I had bitten down too hard andd the tooth popped out IN MY SLEEP.

  5. candy says:

    I am so sad reading this. I am sad for you. I used to have a recurrig dream about one frnot tooth and it happens to be the one who has a filling now, small filling. Tooth dreams referring to want to change your life.I use to wake up in the middle of the night checking my front tooh. I use to have those dreams when I wanted to leave europe, they stopped when I moved.
    don’t listen to dentists,they wantyour money.

  6. stacy says:

    Oh no. You’re brave to have those done. I fear the dentist. Dreams of crumbling teeth used to haunt me, haven’t had them in awhile but I’ll probably have one tonight, thank you very much.
    Your top is a gorgeous color for you.

  7. David Duff says:

    I am the proud owner of British 1940s teeth! Dentistry was not, shall we say, a high priority in those austere times so my teeth are all shapes and sizes and point in whatever direction they felt like back then. However, a few months ago one fell out from the *middle* of the lower rank, as it were. The dentist, who I later realised was even better at pulling money out of suckers than he was at extracting reluctant teeth, assured me that he could fit a new tooth which would be fixed to the back of my existing teeth and match all the others perfectly. I smiled and winked at his dental nurse and asked if that would make me look like George Clooney? For some reason she giggled! Anyway, I asked how much and he told me that it would only be £500. ONLY £500!!! I tried to imagine screwing up 10x £50 notes into a wadge and stuffing them in my mouth. I simply could not do it! So now I have what I like to think of as a uniquely charming smile guaranteed to make pretty girls giggle and silence misbehaving children on the spot!

  8. Sister Wolf says:

    Taylor – Fuck!

    Candy – Maybe I need to move.

  9. Sister Wolf says:

    Dave C – Do you think I’d look pretty with a gold pirate tooth?

  10. Sister Wolf says:

    David – Really??? What would you do if it were a top tooth? Would the Memsahib find it rakish, do you think?

  11. Dave C says:

    Definitely! An aunt of mine had a gold tooth in the 70’s, and she rocked! You could even add an eyepatch for the Elle Driver pirate/assassin look.

  12. Witch Moma says:

    “From bag-lady to crack-whore to full hillbilly.” HA! My crowns have lasted for decades. Be careful what dentist you go to. An instance where conservatism pays.

  13. dana says:

    What I love about you, SW, is that you’re the real deal. No carefully buffed curated bits of your life here. xoxoxox

  14. HelOnWheels says:

    Go for the gold crown, SW! It’s very striking and they last forever. I’ve had mine for several decades. Wendy B recommends that you get it engraved with your initials.

  15. Debbie says:

    I’ve had the teeth falling out dreams but get this … I’ve had dreams where excrement is coming out of my mouth!!!! Not hard to interpret that one … I guess I must talk a lot of shit.


  16. Cricket9 says:

    The gold tooth would be fetching and suggest that you have connections with Russian mafia – which can be good or not-so-good, depending of the circumstances. I found out recently that, apparently, i have a “severe bruxism”, which means, I clench my jaw and grind my teeth when sleeping, which is not good. I have many reasons for grinding my teeth all the time, but now I wear a “night-guard” – a look which can totally ruin your sex life – and that piece of plastic was $400, paid my my insurance. Honestly, it would be more practical to have a beak, teeth are, IMO, badly designed.

  17. Marky says:

    Three crowns in my mouth. Each one was scarier than the last. Thank God none has fallen out. Those temporary ones shouldn’t fall out unless you’re eating a Charleston Chew. Your dentist sounds like a charlatan.

    I once cracked a tooth on a cookie while I was living in rural Texas. The only dentist who could see me was forty miles away. She and her lesbian cowgirl lover were major crooks. They told me that I needed $4800 in dental work. I opted to fly to home to my childhood dentist who fixed me up for under $300.

    In my teeth dreams, my teeth are loose and rotten and I panic, trying to keep them in my mouth. Sometimes I swallow them. I’ve also been known to press them back into my gums when they fall out.

  18. candy says:

    I used to have a crook dentist who cleaned half of my mouth one day and the other half the next day!I changed dentist! the first dentist I had told meI had 11 cavities, turned out I had oly5 small one. I have very white teeth, I clean them daily. Then, I met this nice dentist, he told me that I only needed 5 fillings. He moved to another pratice and the new dentist is talking about root canals now! I did some good research and I don’t need anything. They are after premolars, they love to fill those.
    My husband and I are now trying to track the good dentist,to changefrom this oe to the old one.
    about the dreams: You want to change your life, it can be anything, for my part, it was the city I lived in that made those bad dreams. I don’t get those now.

  19. candy says:

    I use to push my front tooth in my dreams, and then I woulld jump out of bed and looking the mirror to see if it was dream or reality, the tooth was there. Dreaming of teeth is very common.

  20. Hammie says:

    Had a real problem with front incisor since it broke in primary school. Now have a bridge but still carry my partial denture everywhere, just in case.
    When I wore the denture my first born thought it was very amusing to reach over and try and take it out.

  21. patni says:

    I have six front crowns. they suck. they used to fall out, but then were ok for many years. It is a nightmare.

  22. Muscato says:

    Oh, God – I’m with you on this one. I had a tooth completely fall to bits earlier this year – just as I was about to get up on a stage and give a speech at a big office ‘do. I fled in disgrace, happy that I’ve got a stellar colleague who agreed to read from my pitiful notes.

    Sometimes I think it would be easiest just to have them all pulled at 40, and go for a really good pair of dentures…

  23. I was thinking of having my teeth straightened but now I’m too scared !! Xx

  24. hammiesays says:

    had the tooth dream last night!!!!

  25. Kate says:

    This is sooo depressing!! I am dealing with a major dental crisis., which I’m now told will involve crowns. I chipped an upper central incisor (front tooth) in middle school. My family dentist patched it and the patch lasted over 15 years. After a move to a new city and thus a new dentist, I was convince that I needed two veneers (after declining the suggested six!!) to try and blend them with my natural teeth. The whole experience was horrible. Temps that were totally different from my teeth, grinding my original teeth down even though I was told the veneers would be placed without affecting my natural teeth, several attempts to colour match which involved freezing and removal and attitude form the dentist. I developed major anxiety. It took me some time to go back to have the work finished and now I need crowns as cavities have developed under the temps (never warned about that possibility.) And I have to pay again as the lab supposedly closed! I have never had a cavity in my life and I had beautiful, healthy teeth, albeit with a chip in one. Reading about all your crown nightmares is very upsetting. I am trying not to think to much about this as it is really pushing me over the edge. I see myself in the future with no front teeth and living on cans of cat food. I often dreamt that my teeth were falling out – horrible. I am one of those people who smiles at everyone they meet. It’s how I interact with the world, masking my negativity. It’s my way of saying.. I see you, and I care. If I don’t have that…

  26. Maria says:

    I’ve had this dream too, many times! I’m afraid I might lose or damage a tooth because I’m an avid ice chewer but I just can’t help myself, it’s addictive.

    I felt my lower incisives were getting worn fast, and being only twentysomething I thought that was wrong. Went to this guy, who’s not only a dentist but a maxillofacial surgeon or something, and he told me that the problem wasn’t crooked teeth, it was my fucking jaw that was way back, so they might need to “readjust” it. Left that place scared to death and now I fear for the money I’ll have to pay for that surgery and for the surgery itself.

  27. WendyB says:

    I have a gold crown but it’s my last molar on top so no one sees it (despite that, I engraved it with my initials, because if it’s gold, it has to have my personal touch.) Getting it was awful but I did wait until I had no choice. I had a huge filling in that tooth and everyone told me for years, “You need to replace that with a crown.” I refused to do anything till the tooth broke. (The filling was just fine.) I totally agree that one shouldn’t mess with teeth until there’s absolutely no alternative. Sorry you had to go through this — it was bad enough to be missing a molar!

  28. Suebob says:

    As a public service, I must tell your intrepid readers about Reach TOTAL CARE dental floss. It is the most amazing, pleasant thing – and no, they aren’t paying me to say this. It is some kind of plastic tape, not shreddy floss, and it is stretchable, so it just pops up between your teeth and pops back out. I love it so much. My last cleaning took about 15 minutes because my teeth are so clean to start with.

  29. Danno says:

    I’ve had my teeth cleaned twice a year religiously since childhood. Even when I had no insurance I would go to the local university and pay very little for dental students to practice their cleaning skills on me. At about 25 yrs old my dentist made a comment that I was “too young to be so long in the tooth.” Receding gums. At 28 I paid for Invisalign. This procedure combined with pregnancy, and a genetic predisposition to weak tissues caused my bottom row to loosen and the top gums to recede worse than a 60 year old. I could actually wiggle three main bottom teeth with my finger. I had a hard palate tissue graft to my upper and lower gums and permanent wires placed behind the loose teeth. That was 2-3 years ago and I my incisors have receded again.
    It’s scary to think that 100 years ago I’d be blind and toothless.

  30. Eelainee says:

    One more thing we got in common : the teeth.

    And we got it with wonderful Karine Dreijer Anderson from The Knife. Try youtubing “Knife Silent shout” and find out about her perfect lyrics :

    In a dream I lost my teeth again
    Calling me woman and half a man
    Yes in a dream all my teeth fell out
    A cracked smile and a silent shout

    Because dentists are thieves, mine got me into “devitalizing” a tooth from the back that was a bit sensitive. He never told me that taking the nerve out implied making a big hole in the tooth and making it more than sensitive : breakable ! Surprisingly, within days, it happened. This honest man proposed then to put a crown, for 500 euros “tops”. After a coupla month, an infection formed under the crown that was like a lid, exposing me to septicemia, blood poisoning ! The dentist had to break the 500 euros crown…

    I didn’t replace it. Then, the same dentist missed a cavity and with a delay (or is it decay) of 3 months, had to empty this tooth, like the other one, making it breakable too, and I’m expecting now the moment it will.

    But I never really lost a tooth. Until a month ago. I ate soja beans that had sand, two bites and the tooth (previously made breakable by my dentist, an expert at this, I understand too late), the tooth was dead, broken to the root. I never experienced pain like this. So tremendous, that it was a relief to have it extracted.

    I was very upset about the perspective of my mouth without a tooth and the look of my husband on me. That son of a bitch 🙂 has the exact same tooth missing and so I emphasized the equality between us regarding this and the situation of the tooth in the mouth that shows a little bit, but not when we don’t juliarobertsmile. The son of a bitch. The night before he said something like “Yuk, you gonna be ugly !” “Right. You mean, like you ?”… I was so glad to go to my dentist after that.

    Taking the tooth out was frankly medieval butchery. The 2 hands of a man into my mouth, pulling at my head vigorously, the way you’d do with an object ! All the time, I kept thinking at my husband, talking to myself without words, about the fact that it was necessary, beyond my health, that it was bringing us closer, equals in front of the ageing process and accidents of life. He and I, at 40, have no choice but fighting against the obsession about youth and looks. We must overcome the weakness that makes life cheap when we don’t look like our models, WE must make new models… The tooth was gone.

    At first, I felt ashamed of smiling, because I can’t but crittersmile. Thank god, I can’t stop smiling and it’s a challenge to expose myself to everybody like this, and try to make it : hip 😀

    A lot of stupid things are hip, in fact, hipness is always something meaningless, usually despised by the masses, recoded into something desirable, for the masses (red hair, tanned skin, etc). Why not a missing tooth, why not a so-called imperfection ? Like the strabismus of Bardot, Moss, Monroe, Cary Grant, Rita hayworth, etc. Like the shaved head of Sinead O’Connor. Clearly, it’s less ugly than the duck or pillow face, or giant boobs, ass, cheeks, or haircuts from outerspace. This is frightening. Natural imperfections are not, it’s like you farted or something. And everybody knows that everybody farts… Admittedly, a missing tooth in the front, may be be too radical. To begin with. Now, I remember a guy who was missing one of the two big ones in the front, who couldn’t avoid smiling all the time, and he was quite handsome. Some girls were bothered, but many others were after him). If a missing tooth in the front is a big challenge, on the side, it can be punky, cool. The beginning of new models.

    Look at Edith Massey ! No, no : not that… I love her so much in Pink Flamingos and Polyester ! John Waters movies sucks without her.

    – What’s the matter, ma petite ?

    – Speak English, Cuddles !


  31. Eelainee says:

    Oh : and you look great even with a black teeth. Your writings and your pictures are a perfect match.

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