Host and bacterial proteases play a vital role in periodontitis. Inhibitors of these proteases are necessary for control of this disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of lanthanides on proteins from Porphyromonas gingivalis, a major pathogen in periodontitis. Benzoyl-L-Arg-p-nitroanilide (BAPNA); H-Gly-Pro-pNA x HCl and gelatin were used to evaluate the activity of P. gingivalis proteins in the presence of lanthanides. Proteins extracted from cell surfaces and culture media of P. gingivalis were assessed for activity in the presence of different lanthanides by BAPNA assay. Only gadolinium chloride was used for H-Gly-Pro-pNA x HCl assay and gelatin-zymography. Concentration-dependent reduction of absorbance was observed in the presence of lanthanides with BAPNA and a similar observation was made with gadolinium chloride using H-Gly-Pro-pNa. Collagenolytic activity in cell surface extracts and culture media-precipitated proteins was absent in the presence of gadolinium chloride. These results suggest that the lanthanide gadolinium can be a potential inhibitor of P. gingivalis proteases.