A woman who has survived by the skin of her teeth now shows off her new dentures.
Ashley Butler, a mom of four who reportedly battled drug addiction and domestic violence, is speaking out about getting called a “catfish” after posting photos of herself looking strikingly different with and without her dentures.
Now, she’s sharing how losing her teeth unexpectedly helped turn her life around with her more than 100,000 TikTok followers.
“My tooth loss started with domestic violence and addiction. I took the remaining ones before extractions,” said Butler, 31, who goes by @MamaUpinSmoke on TikTok. She told Caters News Agency, “I smile with and without my teeth. My dentures don’t define me. I feel comfortable in my own skin now because of the dentures.”
Indeed, Butler, from Tennessee, said she uses social media to promote self-acceptance, detailing to followers her past experiences with drug addiction and an unhealthy relationship.
“We all have a past and sadly I was addicted to crystal meth following a toxic relationship,” Butler recalled, detailing how her addiction to drugs caused her to lose her teeth.
She reportedly couldn’t afford to buy dentures following a consultation with a dentist. “I remember crying in the reception and saying I will be back once I have saved around $4,000,” Butler said, according to Caters.
Then she got a shocking phone call the next day, when she was reportedly told an anonymous good Samaritan who overheard her story at the dentist, offered to pay for her to get new pearly whites. She had her teeth extracted in November 2020 and got the temporary dentures in September 2021.
“It still blows my mind that a stranger who overheard me in the dentist paid for them,” she told Caters. “I didn’t think something like this could ever happen to me! Whoever it is saw worth in me and believes in me. His or her kind gesture made me realize that I am worthy of self love and respect.”
And she’s shaking off troll commenters who call her a “junkie” or “catfish” — grinning and bearing it quite literally when it comes to sharing her smile story.
Said Butler, “It is the reason I try and bring positivity and happiness daily on my platform. I am who I am, I’m not trying to portray myself as anyone but me.”