Periodontal diseases are infectious diseases with a mixed microbial aetiology and marked inflammatory response leading to destruction of underlying tissue. Periodontal therapy aims to eliminate pathogens associated with the disease and attain periodontal health. Periodontitis is generally treated by nonsurgical mechanical debridement and regular periodontal maintenance care. Periodontal surgery may be indicated for some patients to improve access to the root surface; however, mechanical debridement alone may not be helpful in all cases. In such cases, adjunctive systemic antibiotic therapy remains the treatment of choice. It can reach microorganisms at the base of the deep periodontal pockets and furcation areas via serum, and also affects organisms residing within gingival epithelium and connective tissue. This review aims to provide an update on clinical issues regarding when and how to prescribe systemic antibiotics in periodontal therapy. The points discussed are the mode of antibiotic action, susceptible periodontal pathogens, antibiotic dosage, antibiotic use in treatment of periodontal disease, and mechanism of bacterial resistance to each antibiotic.