Galectin-1 and galectin-3 are C-type lectin receptors that bind to lipopolysaccharide in the cell wall of gram-negative bacteria. In this study, we investigated the effects of galectin-1 and galectin-3 on adhesion to and invasion of the human gingival epithelial cell line Ca9-22 by Porphyromonas gingivalis, a periodontal pathogenic gram-negative bacterium. Recombinant galectin-1, but not galectin-3, enhanced P. gingivalis adhesion and invasion, although both galectins bound similarly to P. gingivalis. Flow cytometry also revealed that Ca9-22 cells express low levels of galectin-1 and moderate levels of galectin-3. Ca9-22 cells in which galectin-3 was knocked-down did not exhibit enhanced P. gingivalis adhesion and invasion. Similarly, specific antibodies to galectin-1 and galectin-3 did not inhibit P. gingivalis adhesion and invasion. These results suggest that soluble galectin-1, but not galectin-3, may exacerbate periodontal disease by enhancing the adhesion to and invasion of host cells by periodontal pathogenic bacteria.