The unique anatomy and composition of the periodontium make periodontal tissue healing and regeneration a complex process. Periodontal regeneration aims to recapitulate the crucial stages of wound healing associated with periodontal development in order to restore lost tissues to their original form and function and for regeneration to occur, healing events must progress in an ordered and programmed sequence both temporally and spatially, replicating key developmental events. A number of procedures have been employed to promote true and predictable regeneration of the periodontium. Principally, the approaches are based on the use of graft materials to compensate for the bone loss incurred as a result of periodontal disease, use of barrier membranes for guided tissue regeneration and use of bioactive molecules. More recently, the concept of tissue engineering has been integrated into research and applications of regenerative dentistry, including periodontics, to aim to manage damaged and lost oral tissues, through reconstruction and regeneration of the periodontium and alleviate the shortcomings of more conventional therapeutic options. The essential components for generating effective cellular based therapeutic strategies include a population of multi-potential progenitor cells, presence of signalling molecules/inductive morphogenic signals and a conductive extracellular matrix scaffold or appropriate delivery system. Mesenchymal stem cells are considered suitable candidates for cell-based tissue engineering strategies owing to their extensive expansion rate and potential to differentiate into cells of multiple organs and systems. Mesenchymal stem cells derived from multiple tissue sources have been investigated in pre-clinical animal studies and clinical settings for the treatment and regeneration of the periodontium.