I got a toothache few days ago and since holidays were here the dentists didn't work.

It hurt day and night and the pain was extreme but luckily for me I figured out that cold water helped me.

I drank a LOT of water; about a glass every minute.

I was going a lot to the bathroom but my stomach didn't hurt. I didn't know humans can drink that many water.

So what is the limit (gallons or liters) for drinking water and what happens if you drink more than the limit?

1 Answer 1


Drinking too much water can lead to water intoxication, but

For those who have healthy kidneys, it is rather difficult to drink too much water

(according to Wikipedia). Another article has information about the exact amount:

Healthy kidneys are able to excrete approximately 800 millilitres to 1 litre of fluid water (0.84 - 1.04 quarts) per hour.[12] However, stress (from prolonged physical exertion), as well as disease states, can greatly reduce this amount.

Water intoxication may lead to

headache, personality changes, changes in behavior, confusion, irritability, and drowsiness.

and in the end, it even

is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions

Every substance is potential poisonous, it just depends on the amount. It's not likely you will get water intoxication from combating a toothache.

Water probably helped for you because it cools your teeth; an alternative could be using an ice pack. Even though you're not likely to suffer from water intoxication, it might save you a few trips to the restroom.

  • 1
    Mostly a great answer @Glorfindel but please also include that water intoxication can be fatal - even in healthy kidneys. Hyponatremia is one serious complication of ingesting too much free water, and it can be fatal. The text you copied into your answer suggests that 24L of free water (1L /hr) could be managed by healthy kidneys, which is not true - at least not for very long. You would have to click on the superscript link 12 on that wikipedia link to find that critical information. There is a safety limit, for which I will try to find a good resource that more clearly defines it.
    – DoctorWhom
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 20:49
  • @DoctorWhom thanks, I'm just quoting Wikipedia and using 'common sense'. If you have any authoritative sources, I'm all ears.
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 21:21

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