High concentrations of tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) and placental type plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-2) have previously been found in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) of adults and children. In the present study, intra-individual comparisons were made of the concentrations of t-PA, urokinase type plasminogen activator (u-PA), PAI-1, and PAI-2 in GCF from the same sites before and after periodontal treatment in eight healthy male volunteers aged 35-46 yr. The gingival state was assessed by exudate measurement, bleeding on standardized probing, and the gingival index of Löe & Silness 3 days before the start of the trial and on the day after completing a 21-day preventive program consisting of instruction and professional cleaning once a week. Eight sites per subject were selected for enzyme analyses, all showing improvement in gingival state during the period. Sampling of GCF at the start and at the end of the trial was done with small disks of Millipore-filter. t-PA and PAI-2 were analyzed with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays with low method errors. The mean concentrations of t-PA were 0.73 mg/l before treatment and 0.49 mg/l after treatment. The mean concentrations of u-PA were 84.4 micrograms/l before treatment and 101.6 micrograms/l after treatment. PAI-1 was found in three subjects at the detection level. The mean PAI-2 concentrations were 2.19 mg/l before and 1.13 mg/l after treatment. The mean molar ratio PAs/PAI-2 was 0.47 before and 0.48 after treatment. This insignificant change implies a maintained proteolytic balance and indicates that PAI-2 is an important inhibitor of tissue proteolysis.