Thursday, 4 September 2014

Dedentition - The Tooth Is Out There

A girl with missing teeth
Photo by Steven de Polo


Noun. Mid-17th century.
[from DE- + DENTITION.]

PHYSIOLOGY. The shedding of the (deciduous) teeth.

I learnt two things from this entry in the OED:

1) When a child's teeth fall out naturally (as opposed to, say, your older brother pushing you over and smashing them out on a step, as I did), it's called dedentition.

2) The teeth that fall out are called deciduous teeth, just like the trees (although if your teeth are evergreen, you should really see a dental hygienist).

However, I still don't know why I have a recurring dream of my teeth falling out. Oh wise and venerable OED, will your tomes give me the answer in a future entry? I can only hope that the tooth is out there ...

Do please enamel us with your finest comments below.


  1. I'll wait OED to tell you but if you ask me and I check the wife's tales I grew up - teeth in dreams are related with family connections. If they fall it means you're afraid to loose family members. You might choose not to believe - I remember to dream with meat and L broke in our home because it meant a close family woman would be pregnant, they said, and my aunts were all over 70 :o, so they entertained figuring out who was pregnant and the drama why-didn't-she-tell-us ensued. But if I had a cousin every time I had the dream we'd have much more weddings and christenings to attend that's for sure ahahahah
    But let's hope more ahead OED has a more You explanation shall we? ;)

    1. What exactly is a "me" explanation, Teresa? I'm intrigued!

    2. A more scientific explanation... not wife tales material.
      Though I think you already found it, by what you write to Kara below ;).
      Enjoy the weekend (I'm happy as rain is on horizon :))

    3. Ah yes. To satisfy me, you're probably right. But I do enjoy listening to old wives' tales and such (usually with a condescending smirk on my face).

  2. I do so hope that the tooth shall someday set you free from wondering why you have toothless dreams!

    1. Me too, Kara. I think it may have been the trauma of the number of accidents I've had with my teeth over the years. It's a sensitive subject!