Sometimes if a tooth becomes cracked it can develop pain to biting. Other times, it may not hurt at all. Cracks develop in teeth just like they can develop in any other mineralized tissue.
Bones can break, and teeth can too! Sometimes it is from a traumatic event like accidentally biting into a pebble or bone in your food. Other times, it can be from a lifetime of chewing ice or unknowingly grinding your teeth at night.
Regardless, when a crack develops in a tooth, it can be like a crack in a windshield: it can start off small and stay that way for a long time, but over time it can extend and propagate, causing a great deal of damage. When this happens, bacteria from your mouth can get deeper towards the pulp and start to cause symptoms. Usually when this happens, the best treatment is either a crown or a root canal and a crown (if the damage to the pulp has become so severe that a crown by itself will not resolve the issue).
Occasionally a crack can develop on the root surface. Unfortunately, when this happens, the best option for the patient is usually extraction. However, there may be other alternative options you can discuss with Dr. Potter.