Porphyromonas gingivalis is present as a biofilm at the sites of periodontal infections. The detachment of gingival epithelial cells induced by P. gingivalis biofilms was examined using planktonic cultures as a comparison. Exponentially grown planktonic cultures or 40-h biofilms were co-incubated with epithelial cells in a 24-well plate for 4 h. Epithelial cell detachment was assessed using imaging. The activity of arginine-gingipain (Rgp) and gene expression profiles of P. gingivalis cultures were examined using a gingipain assay and quantitative PCR, respectively. P. gingivalis biofilms induced significantly higher cell detachment and displayed higher Rgp activity compared to the planktonic cultures. The genes involved in gingipain post-translational modification, but not rgp genes, were significantly up-regulated in P. gingivalis biofilms. The results underline the importance of including biofilms in the study of bacterial and host cell interactions.