Mechanisms and occurrence of macrolide resistance in the periodontal pathogen Treponema denticola have received little attention. In this study, erythromycin resistance due to mutations in the genes encoding T. denticola 23S rRNA was investigated. The T. denticola genome was shown to contain two copies of 23S rDNA. 23S rRNA genes of nine erythromycin-resistant isolates derived from T. denticola were amplified and sequences were analyzed. All the erythromycin-resistant strains had at least one A-->G transition mutation at the 23S rRNA gene sequence cognate to position A2058 in Escherichia coli 23S rDNA. This suggests that antibiotic pressure is sufficient to select for point mutations that confer resistance in this organism.