The polymerase chain reaction was used to examine 114 tetracycline-resistant anaerobic and facultative anaerobic bacterial isolates from patients with periodontal disease for the tet(M) and tet(O) genes. A 740-base-pair fragment of the tet(M) gene was amplified from 84 of 114 isolates, and a 519-base-pair fragment of the tet(O) gene was amplified from 13 streptococcal isolates. Six of 7 tetracycline-resistant isolates of Veillonella spp. and tetracycline-resistant isolates of Eubacterium spp. (n = 3), Eubacterium saburreum (n = 1), Streptococcus intermedius (n = 5) and Gemella morbillorum (n = 2) all harbored the tet(M) gene. The tet(M) and tet(O) negative as well as selected positive isolates were tested for the tet(K) and tet(L) genes using DNA probes. All isolates of Staphylococcus spp. (n = 11) hybridized with the tet(K) probe. None of the isolates tested hybridized with the probe for tet(L). This is the first report of the tet(M) gene in the facultative bacterium G. morbillorum and in E. saburreum.