Introduction: Treponema denticola inhabits the oral subgingival environment and is part of a proteolytic benzoyl-dl-arginine-naphthylamide-positive 'red complex' associated with active periodontal disease. Spirochetes have a unique form of chemotactic motility that may contribute to their virulence. Chemotaxis is essential for efficient nutrient-directed translocation. Methods: We examined the effect of glucose on T. denticola cell velocity, expression of periplasmic flagella proteins, and chemotaxis, e.g. translocation into capillary tubes. Results: The presence of glucose did not significantly effect T. denticola cell velocity in high viscosity conditions nor did it alter periplasmic flagella protein expression. The addition of glucose to capillary tubes resulted in greater numbers of T. denticola cells in tubes containing glucose. A non-motile mutant did not migrate into capillary tubes containing glucose. Conclusion: These results are consistent with a chemotactic response to glucose that is motility dependent. © 2008 The Authors.