Abstract Periodontal diseases like periodontitis and peri-implantitis have been linked with Gram-negative anaerobes. The incorporation of various chemotherapeutic agents, including metal ions, into several materials and devices has been extensively studied against periodontal bacteria, and materials doped with metal ions have been proposed for the treatment of periodontal and peri-implant diseases. The aim of this review is to discuss the effectiveness of materials doped with metal and metalloid ions already used in the treatment of periodontal diseases, as well as the potential use of alternative materials that are currently available for other applications but have been proved to be cytotoxic to the specific periodontal pathogens. The sources of this review included English articles using Google Scholar™, ScienceDirect, Scopus and PubMed. Search terms included the combinations of the descriptors “disease”, “ionic species” and “bacterium”. Articles that discuss the biocidal properties of materials doped with metal and metalloid ions against the specific periodontal bacteria were included. The articles were independently extracted by two authors using predefined data fields. The evaluation of resources was based on the quality of the content and the relevance to the topic, which was evaluated by the ionic species and the bacteria used in the study, while the final application was not considered as relevant. The present review summarizes the extensive previous and current research efforts concerning the use of metal ions in periodontal diseases therapy, while it points out the challenges and opportunities lying ahead.