Teeth can endure extensive forces over the years. Depending on what habits, diet and pre-existing conditions a person has with their teeth, may determine how susceptible a person may become with cracked tooth syndrome.
People who chew on ice, nuts or anything hard and crunchy are at a higher risk. Also, those individuals who have large restorations from previous cavities or longstanding childhood fillings are at a higher risk as well. Habits of opening things with your teeth or chewing on pens, pencils, etc. are more prone to problems.
Cracks can arise in teeth from the noted conditions above. After the formation of a crack, continuous load and stress may allow for the cracks to penetrate deeper into the tooth over time. Microscopically, these cracks open and close as forces are exerted and released. This will lead to intermittent discomfort and warning signs that there is a problem.
A tooth can only feel pain. Sitting in the middle of a tooth is the pulp (or nerve) of a tooth. You want to prevent a crack from penetrating this portion of a tooth, at all costs. With continual stress and time, this will happen! When the dentist notices cracks traveling deeper to the gum line or darkening and absorbing color, these are indicators to have preventative dental care completed immediately.