ANTM's Amanda Swafford I'm Broke and Toothless And I Need Your Help

9/25/2014 12:40 AM PDT

A former "America's Next Top Model" finalist has a gaping hole in her grill ... and has been reduced to begging the public for help.

Amanda Swafford -- who finished 3rd in Cycle 3 of the show back in 2004 -- had a disastrous run-in with a Bojangles chicken bone last week ... and it's left her toothless right smack in the middle.

The pain got so tough to handle, she says she got drunk and pulled the remaining part of the tooth out herself!!!

It will cost $5K to have the tooth replaced, and Amanda is cash-strapped.  She's 35 and can only get part-time work as a stylist. She's taken to the crowdfunding site GoFundMe to raise the cash.

She's at $1k and counting.

Chew on that.