The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of endotoxin adsorbed to dental surfaces and to collagen type I on the migration, attachment, and orientation of human gingival fibroblasts (HGF). Transversely cut porcine tooth root slices (RS), 200 μm thick, were prepared. Half of the RS obtained were partially demineralized in EDTA. Half of the demineralized and non-demineralized RS were incubated with 400 μg/mL of endotoxin for 24 hr, whereas the other half were maintained in PBS and served as controls. Experimental and control RS were placed on confluent layers of HFG and cultured for six days. Cell migration toward and cell attachment to the periphery of the RS and the formation of oriented cell sheets were assessed by means of photographic techniques. Additionally, six-day-old cultures were fixed and processed for SEM observation. In separate experiments, the effect of endotoxin on cell attachment to collagen type I and on contraction of three-dimensional collagen gels was assessed. It was found that: (i) bacterial endotoxin inhibited migration and attachment of HGF to both demineralized and non-demineralized cementum and interfered with the development of oriented cellular structure ; (ii) the inhibitory effect was significantly more pronounced for non-demineralized than for demineralized cementum; (iii) the morphology of HGF attached to endotoxin-treated dental surfaces was altered compared with that of their controls; and (iv) bacterial endotoxin inhibited cell attachment to collagen type I and delayed the contraction of collagen gel.