Porphyromonas gingivalis lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induces the expression of the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which contributes to the process of periodontitis. Curcumin, a constituent of turmeric, exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. We have investigated the anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin in human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs) stimulated by P. gingivalis LPS and its mechanism of action. HGFs pretreated with curcumin were stimulated by P. gingivalis LPS. COX-2 mRNA and protein expressions were analysed by real-time PCR and Western blot analysis. Activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) was analysed by the NF-κB-dependent luciferase activity and electrophoretic mobility-shift assay (EMSA). Curcumin inhibited COX-2 mRNA and protein synthesis in LPS-stimulated HGFs in a dose-dependent manner. P. gingivalis LPS activated NF-κB-dependent transcription in HGFs, which were also downregulated by pretreatment with curcumin. Therefore, curcumin can inhibit P. gingivalis LPS-induced COX-2 expression, which may be due to the inhibition of the NF-κB pathway.