This study evaluated restriction fragment length polymorphism of rRNA genes (ribotyping) for genotypic identification of 53 oral isolates classified as 'Streptococcus sanguis' by colony morphology. Isolates were from 8-h buccal plaque on lower first permanent molars of 20 subjects. DNA was digested with AatII and hybridized with digoxygenin-labeled cDNA of Escherichia coli 16S and 23S rRNA. Strains were ribotyped again with AlwNI or PvuII on the basis of the presence or absence of a 2,290-bp AatII band. Band patterns were compared with reference ribotypes for Streptococcus gordonii, Streptococcus sanguis, Streptococcus crista, Streptococcus oralis, Streptococcus mitis, and Streptococcus parasanguis strains. Forty-eight isolates could be assigned to a species (22 S. sanguis, 14 S. oralis, 12 S. gordonii). Multiple species were seen in 14 subjects; multiple strains of the same species occurred in 11 subjects. Our findings suggest that ribotyping can be used for genotypic identification of S. sanguis, S. oralis, and S. gordonii isolates.