A common use of hyphens is with words that form a compound adjective, such as, state-of-the-art, life-saving and so on.
There are, however, many rules when and when not to use hyphens. For example, check out a few from this link.
Rule 1. Generally, hyphenate two or more words when they come before a
noun they modify and act as a single idea. This is called a compound
Examples: an off-campus apartment state-of-the-art design
When a compound adjective follows a noun, a hyphen may or may not be
Example: The apartment is off campus.
However, some established compound adjectives are always hyphenated.
Double-check with a dictionary or online.
Example: The design is state-of-the-art.
Rule 2a. A hyphen is frequently required when forming original
compound verbs for vivid writing, humor, or special situations.
Examples: The slacker video-gamed his way through life. Queen Victoria
throne-sat for six decades.
Rule 2b. When writing out new, original, or unusual compound nouns,
writers should hyphenate whenever doing so avoids confusion.
Examples: I changed my diet and became a no-meater. No-meater is too
confusing without the hyphen.
The slacker was a video gamer. Video gamer is clear without a hyphen,
although some writers might prefer to hyphenate it.
Writers using familiar compound verbs and nouns should consult a
dictionary or look online to decide if these verbs and nouns should be
Rule 3. An often overlooked rule for hyphens: The adverb very and
adverbs ending in -ly are not hyphenated.
Incorrect: the very-elegant watch
Incorrect: the finely-tuned watch
This rule applies only to adverbs. The following two sentences are
correct because the -ly words are adjectives rather than adverbs:
Correct: the friendly-looking dog
Correct: a family-owned cafe