Streptococcus gordonii, an important primary colonizer of dental plaque biofilm, specifically binds to salivary amylase via the surface-associated amylase-binding protein A (AbpA). We hypothesized that a function of amylase binding to S. gordonii may be to modulate the expression of chromosomal genes, which could influence bacterial survival and persistence in the oral cavity. Gene expression profiling by microarray analysis was performed to detect genes in S. gordonii strain CH1 that were differentially expressed in response to the binding of purified human salivary amylase versus exposure to purified heat-denatured amylase. Selected genes found to be differentially expressed were validated by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR). Five genes from the fatty acid synthesis (FAS) cluster were highly (10- to 35-fold) upregulated in S. gordonii CH1 cells treated with native amylase relative to those treated with denatured amylase. An abpA-deficient strain of S. gordonii exposed to amylase failed to show a response in FAS gene expression similar to that observed in the parental strain. Predicted phenotypic effects of amylase binding to S. gordonii strain CH1 (associated with increased expression of FAS genes, leading to changes in fatty acid synthesis) were noted; these included increased bacterial growth, survival at low pH, and resistance to triclosan. These changes were not observed in the amylase-exposed abpA-deficient strain, suggesting a role for AbpA in the amylase-induced phenotype. These results provide evidence that the binding of salivary amylase elicits a differential gene response in S. gordonii, resulting in a phenotypic adjustment that is potentially advantageous for bacterial survival in the oral environment.