Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis) is one of the leading nosocomial pathogens, particularly associated with periprosthetic infections of biomedical implants. Silicon nitride (Si3N4), a nonoxide biomaterial widely used in spinal implants, has shown bacteriostatic effects against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria; however, the physicochemical interactions between Si3N4 and bacteria yet remain conspicuously unexplored. In situ time-lapse Raman spectroscopic experiments were conducted by exposing S. epidermidis for 12, 24, and 48 h to Si3N4 substrates to understand the evolution of bacterial metabolism and to elucidate the ceramics antimicrobial behavior. The Raman probe captured an initial metabolic response of the bacteria to the adverse chemistry of the Si3N4 surface, which included peroxidation of membrane phospholipids and protein structural modifications to adjust for survivorship. However, beyond 24 h of exposure, the Raman signals representing DNA, lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates showed clear fingerprints of bacterial lysis. Bands related to biofilm formation completely disappeared or underwent drastically reduced intensity. Bacterial lysis was confirmed by conventional fluorescence microscopy methods. Spectroscopic experiments suggested that a pH change at the Si3N4’s surface induced variations in the membrane structure and D-alanylation of teichoic acids in its peptidoglycan layer. Concurrent stimulation of peptidoglycan hydrolase (i.e., an enzyme involved with autolysis) ultimately led to membrane degradation and cellular death. An additional finding was that modulating the Si3N4 surface by increasing the population of amine groups improved the efficiency of the substrate against S. epidermidis, thus suggesting that optimization of the near-surface (alkaline) conditions may be a viable approach to bacterial reduction.