Arkansas Public Media

David Monteith

Experts say dental hygienists are starting to fill a critical gap in oral health care in Arkansas, given the state has a shortage of dentists, especially in low-income rural districts. David Monteith with Arkansas Public Media reports on the trend and laws.

ANN KENDA / ARKANSAS PUBLIC MEDIA

More dentists are reaching out to patients with fear or extreme sensitivity to oral pain to let them know sedation can be an option to help them maintain dental hygiene and care. This report is part of a year-long state-wide series on oral health produced by Arkansas Public Media and supported by Delta Dental of Arkansas.

Ann Kenda

Heart health may start with a healthy mouth. New research indicates that oral health and heart health may be connected, so protecting your teeth and gums could protect your heart as well. This is the first installment in our year-long collaborative Arkansas Public Media oral health series available for viewing here.

This week lawmakers came to the capitol for a special session to discuss the budget. To vote on anything outside of the budget during a fiscal session, a two-thirds majority must agree, but that bar hasn’t stopped some lawmakers.

Arkansas's Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson will likely see most of his approximately $5.6 billion proposed budget for fiscal 2018-19 adopted without changes. It goes to the House of Representatives this week, where three in four voting members are Republican, and the Senate, with its strong Republican majority.

"I created a balanced budget that actually has a $64 million surplus that funds education, the priority needs of our state," Hutchinson said. "I'm hoping the legislature will greet that well, and will pass that, and as I give the State of the State address" today, "that'll be something I emphasize."

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