Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease which constitutes an important health problem in humans due to its enormous prevalence and life threatening implications on systemic health. Routine standard periodontal treatments include gingival flaps, root planning, application of growth/differentiation factors or filler materials and guided tissue regeneration. However, these treatments have come short on achieving regeneration ad integrum of the periodontium, mainly due to the presence of tissues from different embryonic origins and their complex interactions along the regenerative process. Tissue engineering (TE) aims to regenerate damaged tissue by providing the repair site with a suitable scaffold seeded with sufficient undifferentiated cells and, thus, constitutes a valuable alternative to current therapies for the treatment of periodontal defects. Stem cells from oral and dental origin are known to have potential to regenerate these tissues. Nevertheless, harvesting cells from these sites implies a significant local tissue morbidity and low cell yield, as compared to other anatomical sources of adult multipotent stem cells. This manuscript reviews studies describing the use of non-oral stem cells in tissue engineering strategies, highlighting the importance and potential of these alternative stem cells sources in the development of advanced therapies for periodontal regeneration. Anat Rec, 297:6–15. 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.